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Amy Henderson · Wednesday December 11, 2013
Richard Childress Racing announced Wednesday that the organization will field three NASCAR Sprint Cup teams in 2014, and one of those cars will be the No. 3.
RCR announced that the organization will run the No. 3 with driver Austin Dillon, with primary sponsorship from Dow Chemicals and General Mills. Whether or not the number should return to the track in the Cup Series was the subject of much debate over the years. The last time a No. 3 raced in the series was February 18, 2001. Seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt was driving the car when he was involved in a fatal accident on the final lap of the race. Childress continued to race with Earnhardt’s team and driver Kevin Harvick, but the car number was changed to the No. 29.
Childress will also field the No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet for Paul Menard and the No. 31 CAT Chevrolet for Ryan Newman in the Cup Series next year. He’ll also run three full-time Nationwide Series teams: the No. 2 of Brian Scott, the No. 3 of Ty Dillon, and the No. 62 of Brendan Gaughan. The organization will not field trucks in the Camping World Truck Series in 2014 and has sold off that equipment.
Childress says that the decision to race the No. 3 wasn’t an easy one, but he ultimately felt that Earnhardt would approve. Childress recounted conversations with Earnhardt before his death about what to do with the car once Earnhardt retired, and Earnhardt had told him to keep racing it for championships. He added that he believed Earnhardt would be “smiling down” on the announcement, and that he would only have let an Earnhardt or a member of the Childress family race the number.
Kevin Harvick finished third in Sprint Cup driver points in the No. 29 (now 3) in 2013. New driver Dillon won the NASCAR Nationwide Series title driving for RCR.
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Ah, the #3, it about brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it, NOT. Ho-hum, big whoop, the #3 is back. A big deal over nothing.
Now we’ll get to see all of the toothless, tattooed faithful in the stands, crying in their Budweisers and holding three fingers (if they still have them and can count that high) in the air as the car goes around the track.