It’s a question that perks up the ears of any NASCAR purist–will anyone ever drive the 3 again?–and has since the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 when its driver lost his life. Soon thereafter, car owner Richard Childress made mention that he would not be filling a car bearing #3 anytime soon.
Childress instead took the remainder of Earnhardts cars, painted #29 on the side, and brought up rookie Kevin Harvick full time. Now, however, the 3 car may be on its way back to Cup circulation.
CupScene is reporting that Childress’ grandson, Austin Dillon, is currently running the 3 car in a late-model series and has his sights set on keeping it if/when he reaches Cup. But not for the reason everyone might think.
Prior to one Dale Earnhardt Sr. donning the Black (previously yellow) car, it was driver by none other than Richard Childress himself. Dillon wants to run it in honor of his gramps.
It had been said many times before that if anyone was to drive the 3, it had better be a descendant of Big E himself, but truth be told, Dillon may have even higher priority on that list. Papaw owned it–still does–and it’s his to give.
But will he?
“Well you know, you never say never,” Childress said while leaning against the car bearing the number. “But right now we don’t have any plans.”
Sounds like an open door to me.
Fans will never forget what Dale did in the Black Chevy, and with Jr looking pretty comfortable in his new Hendrick ride–teamed up with (gasp) Jeff Gordon–NASCAR Nation might be a little more forgiving if someone new hopped in the Intimidator’s ride.
Just don’t tell my grandfather.