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Daytona 500 Team Preview: Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Richard Childress. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Ted Fleming
EXPERT
Modified 07 Feb 2021
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Richard Childress Racing has been around NASCAR for more than a half-century and has built one of the most impressive motorsports resumes. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017, Richard Childress has the fourth oldest team, behind the Wood Brothers, Roger Penske, and Richard Petty. Formed in 1969, Richard Childress Racing has won 14 championships across the three NASCAR national series.

Richard Childress Racing all-time champion, Dale Earnhardt

Richard Childress Racing has six NASCAR Cup Series champions, all coming courtesy of Dale Earnhardt (1986-87, 1990-91, 1993-94).

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This year, Childress will look for his fourth Daytona 500 victory as a team owner, which will tie him with Joe Gibbs on the all-time list. Earnhardt won the Great American Race in 1998, with Harvick getting his in 2007, while grandson Austin Dillon captured the Harley J. Earl Trophy in 2018.

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Earnhardt was also one of only three Richard Childress Racing drivers to win the Brickyard 400 (1995), the second-most prestigious race on the Cup circuit, along with Kevin Harvick (2002), and Paul Menard (2011).

Read more: NASCAR prepares to remember Dale Earnhardt 20 years after death in Daytona 500

Over the years, Richard Childress Racing’s driver lineup has some of the most recognizable names of the sport, including Ricky Rudd, Neil Bonnett, Morgan Shepherd, Robby Gordon, Dave Blaney, and a host of others. In all, Richard Childress Racing has 109 victories in Cup, 85 in Xfinity, 31 in Trucks, and ten in 79 ARCA Menards races.

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Richard Childress Racing is a two-car Cup Series team piloted by Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick. Dillon had just one victory in 2020, coming at Texas Motor Speedway. More importantly, it got him into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and he made it as far as the Round of 12 before being eliminated. Reddick is in his second full season with Richard Childress Racing and is looking for his first premier series victory, which would put him into the playoffs for the first time. The Daytona 500 would be as good a place as any to do it.

Read more: Daytona 500 Team Preview: Chip Ganassi Racing

The two drivers for Richard Childress Racing met the media via Zoom calls, and here are some of their thoughts via Team Chevy Media.

Austin Dillon – No. 3 Camaro ZL1 1LE

On winning the Daytona on the 20th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death with the same numbered car he used:

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“It would be amazing and huge for the company, Richard Childress Racing and all the ‘3’ fans out there. Numbers have a lot to do with history at Daytona and the prestige of this place. If there is anything that goes along with that, I would love to go back to Victory Lane at Daytona and do that again.”

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On his emotions leading up to the anniversary:

“You definitely know of the anniversary. People bring it up often in interviews. I remember that time and being a kid, seeing some of the people that I looked up to as being vulnerable at that time. My grandfather, seeing tears in his eyes and my mother, and not really knowing what was going on other than we lost a hero of our sport. So many people have been affected by that. Going to the museum as a kid and seeing the flowers lined up and all the different homages to Dale over the years… it’s one of those things that you’ll never forget because a hero of sport passed away. Hopefully, we have done a good job as a sport and as a whole of carrying on his legacy. Fans today are always still wearing his gear and rockin’ it for Dale.”

Also read: Daytona 500 Team Preview: Stewart-Haas Racing

Tyler Reddick – No. 8 Camaro ZL1 1LE

On what it would mean to give Richard Childress a Daytona 500 win on the 20th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death:

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“It would mean everything. Obviously, like you just said, in the sport of NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing, you can’t replace a guy like that. Obviously, the team’s moved on. It’s tough to move past, but the things that have happened since that horrible loss that we had, our sport had, that everybody had that knew him and looked up to him – the safety innovations that have come along the way since that awful and unfortunate event has been very, I would say, monumental.
The sport has changed so much. Even since the time I’ve been here, that drive to continue to improve safety has never stopped and to just see how much ground has been made and progress has been made since I stepped in to the Truck Series quite a few years ago now – that innovation and drive to continue to make this sport safer has not lost its edge. They continue to sharpen every little tool that they have to make these cars safer so guys like myself and my (Richard Childress Racing) teammates can go out there and put on the best show possible for the fans.”

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Published 07 Feb 2021, 13:27 IST
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