Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress Racing is a NASCAR team that fields various Chevrolets. Kevin Harvick drives #29, Jeff Burton drives #31, Clint Bowyer drives #33, John Wes Townley is in the #21, and Austin Dillon drives #3. Businessman Richard Childress, who was a former driver, owns the team.
Richard Childress Racing made its debut at the 1969 Talladega 500 with a 1968 Chevy, numbered 3. Childress drove and finished 23rd due to axle problems. Between 1972 until just before the end of the 1976 season, Childress competed for the team in fourteen races. He made eleven top-ten finishes and finished the year ranked eleventh. Then in 1981 Richard Childress ended his career and gave over the #3 ride to the defending Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt.
With car #29 Earnhardt made six top-tens and then moved, with Ricky Rudd taking his place for the 1982 season. Rudd ended both 1982 and 1983 placed ninth in points and the next two years he won. When the season ended Rudd was replaced with former RCR driver Earnhardt. He had a successful two decades, winning six championships but later on his performance slowed down. On February 18, 2001, Earnhardt was on the finishing lap of the Daytona 500 when he crashed head-on into a wall, dying immediately.
Jeff Green was selected to drive the #07 car, which debuted at California Speedway, finishing 21 in total points. Green made pole position at the Sharpie 500, with six top-tens and finishing 17th the following year. Later Green was replaced with Steve Park but with not much potential he was not re-assigned. Jeff Burton later became available and was snapped up by Childress, finishing off the rest of the year. With Robby Gordon moving, Burton decided to leave, which meant that Childress had two spaces to fill. Jack Daniels took up sponsorship and by 2006 Clint Bowyer took over the car.
Childress used car #31 for research and development. Its debut was at North Carolina Speedway in 1988. The next time the car was seen was in 1993 with Neil Bonnett driving at Talladega Superspeedway. Three years later Mike Skinner made a return with the car but having suffered injuries during the 1998 season Morgan Shepherd and Mike Dillon, Childress’ son-in-law, took over. With the injuries Skinner was never able to excel and eventually Robby Gordon took over with a spectacular race in 2001, where he battled against Jeff Gordon near the closing-laps to win the season finale at New Hampshire International Speedway.
By the end of 2009, Richard Childress Racing had managed to rack up the following championships: 6 Sprint Cups, 5 Nationwide Series and 1 Camping World Truck Series.