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Richard Childress Racing

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Richard Childress Racing
Owner(s) Richard Childress
Base Welcome, North Carolina
Series Sprint Cup
Nationwide Series
Drivers Sprint Cup
#3 - Austin Dillon
#27 - Paul Menard
#31 - Ryan Newman
#33 - Brian Scott
Nationwide Series:
#2 - Brian Scott
#3 - Ty Dillon
#33 - Matt Crafton/Cale Conley
Sponsors Sprint Cup
#3 - Dow Chemical/Cheerios
#27 - Menards
#31 - Caterpillar Inc./Quicken Loans
#33 - Whitetail Club
Nationwide Series:
#2 - Shore Lodge/Whitetail Club
#3 - Bass Pro Shops/Yuengling
#33 - Menards/Okuma
#62 - South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Career
Debut 1969
Championships
Sprint Cup Series: 6
Nationwide Series: 4
Truck Series: 2
ARCA Series: 1

RCR Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Richard Childress Racing, is a NASCAR team that competes in the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. The team formerly competed in the Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series. In the Sprint Cup Series, the team fields the #3 Dow Chemical/Cheerios Chevrolet SS full-time for Austin Dillon, the #27 Menards Chevrolet SS full-time for Paul Menard, the #31 Caterpillar Inc./Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS full-time for Ryan Newman, and the #33 Whitetail Club Chevrolet SS part-time for Brian Scott. In the Nationwide Series, the team fields the #2 Shore Lodge/Whitetail Club Chevrolet Camaro full-time for Brian Scott, the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Yuengling full-time for Ty Dillon, the #33 Menards/Okuma Chevrolet Camaro part-time for Matt Crafton and Cale Conley, and the #62 South Point Chevrolet Camaro full-time for Brendan Gaughan

Sprint CupEdit

Car #29 HistoryEdit

RCR debuted at the 1969 Talladega 500 as a 1968 Chevy numbered 13. Childress himself drove the car, finishing 23rd after suffering axle problems. In 1972, the team came back to run fourteen races with Childress driving again, but didn't go full-time until 1976 when he would begin using the #3. Childress earned eleven top-10 finishes and finished eleventh in points that year. Over the next few years, he posted many top-10s and twice was among the highest top 10 points earners, but he never was in serious contention to win. In 1981, he decided to end his career before the season ended, and handed his #3 ride to the defending Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt, who brought his Wrangler sponsorship with him.

After posting six-top tens, Earnhardt went elsewhere, and Ricky Rudd took his place for the 1982 season, with Piedmont Airlines becoming the sponsor. Rudd drove the car for both 1982 and 1983 finishing 9th in points both years, and winning twice the latter. But after the season was over, Rudd was replaced by none other than Earnhardt himself, with Wrangler back as sponsor (in perhaps an odd twist of fate, Rudd moved to Earnhardt's old ride, the #15 Bud Moore Engineering Wrangler-sponsored Ford Thunderbird, which actually kept its sponsorship despite Earnhardt leaving). This time, Earnhardt was back for good, winning six championships over the next two decades, with crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine and Andy Petree, and Goodwrench replacing Wrangler as sponsor after 1987. During the latter part of the 90's Earnhardt's performance began to slow down, and went through 1997 without a single victory. In 1998, he won the Daytona 500 after 20 starts, all ending in losses. The next year, he was able to capture wins at Talladega, as well as cause more controversy, after he spun Terry Labonte to win on the last lap at Bristol Motor Speedway. In 2000, he looked like he was finally regaining his old form, winning twice and finishing runner-up to Bobby Labonte in points, and his many fans hoped he was gearing up for his record-breaking eighth championship. Sadly, this was not to be. On February 18, 2001, on the last lap of the Daytona 500, Earnhardt was tagged from behind and crashed head-on into the turn 4 wall. He did not survive. NASCAR was numb with grief. Deciding to carry on, Childress changed the number of the car to 29, changed the paint scheme from black to white, and chose his Busch Series driver Kevin Harvick to drive the car.

After three races Harvick beat out Jeff Gordon by mere inches to win the Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, dedicating the win to Earnhardt. After posting another win at Chicagoland Speedway, Harvick won NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors. In 2002, Harvick's infamous temper escalated after announcing on his radio he would intentionally wreck another racer during a Craftsman Truck race. In response, NASCAR benched Harvick for the next race, and was replaced during that time by Kenny Wallace. Since then, Harvick has won eight races, including the Prestigious Brickyard 400 and Daytona 500 while scoring a (at the time)career-best points effort of 4th in 2006. Despite a win early in the season, Back-to-back seasons of missing "The Chase for the Nextel Cup" with 14th-place efforts proved to be frustrating, as Harvick threatened to leave the team if performance did not improve. A series of strong runs near the end of 2005 seemed to satisfy him, however, and he was be back in the car in 2006 with Reese's as a new co-primary sponsor. Harvick won five times during the season and had a career-best fourth place finish in points. He won the 2007 Daytona 500 and finished tenth in points that season.

Car #31 HistoryEdit

For over a decade, Car 31 was Childress' R&D car. It debuted in 1988 at the fall event at North Carolina Speedway, as #22 and Rodney Combs driving, finishing dead last. Ironically, when Bill Elliott's backup car failed during practice for the pit crew championship, Elliott drove that backup car for his #9 team to do the competition pit stop. The car wasn't seen again until 1993, as #31 and Earnhardt's longtime friend Neil Bonnett driving at Talladega Superspeedway. In this race, Bonnett, already on a comeback, was involved in a horrifying accident, but made it out okay. After driving another race that year for RCR, Bonnett died testing Phoenix Racing's #51 Country Time Lemonade car for the 1994 Daytona 500.

In 1996, the car returned with defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner driving with Realtree sponsoring the car in four of the five races it ran. Skinner had three-top starts that year, including one on the outside pole. The team finally ran full-time in 1997, with Skinner driving and Lowe's as the sponsor. Skinner won the pole position for both of the races at Daytona, and defeated what has turned out to be a very scant field of drivers for rookie of the year. He suffered some injuries in 1998, and Morgan Shepherd and Childress' son-in-law Mike Dillon filled in for him. Teamed with crew chief Larry McReynolds, 1999 was his best season ever, winning the pole position twice, and finished tenth in points after being the championship leader at one point earlier in the year. However, Skinner was never able to win a points-paying race, although he won two exhibition races in Japan, at Suzuka and Twin Ring Motegi, respectively, as well as some other non-point events. In 2001, he suffered injuries in the opening laps at the inaugural race at Chicagoland. Robby Gordon filled in for him, and struggled heavily, failing to post any top-10 finishes. Skinner returned at Bristol, but he just wasn't the same, and Gordon took his place for him. Late in 2001, it was announced Gordon would drive the car the next year, to the puzzlement of many. Gordon was engaged in a closing-laps battle later in the year with Jeff Gordon to win the season finale at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Armed with a big surge of momentum and a new sponsor in Cingular had five top-ten finishes and finished 20th in points the following year. 2003 was even better, as he swept both road course events and improved four spots in points. After his performance dipped down in 2004, Gordon decided to leave and start his own #7 team, and Jeff Burton was tabbed his replacement. Burton had 3 top 5 and 6 top 10 finishes in 2005, finishing 18th in points.

2006 was year of great success throughout the RCR organization. Burton finished seventh in the 2006 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. He has also won four poles and got his first win in 175 races at Dover. Due to AT&T's merger with BellSouth and the combined company's initiating the elimination of the Cingular brand, sponsorship for this car is in doubt because of the prohibition of new wireless telephone provider sponsorships in Nextel Cup. The change of names would apparently constitute a new sponsorship. A report in the Boston Globe blog noted German industrial giant Osram GmbH, a longtime sponsor at RCR (which was an alternating primary sponsor on the #07 in 2006), would become the main primary sponsor, with Lenox Industrial Tools and AstraZeneca's Prilosec OTC becoming the other alternating sponsors, but this was later denied as Cingular/AT&T intends to remain with the team through 2008. Burton, however, won the Samsung 500 with the AstraZeneca sponsorship (purple car).

AT&T's sponsorship lawsuitEdit

AT&T has repeatedly requested that NASCAR allow them to advertise the AT&T Mobility brand on the #31 car, but NASCAR refuses to allow it, citing the Sprint Nextel contract. After trying and failing to get NASCAR to approve the addition of the globe logo to the rear of the car, AT&T filed a lawsuit against NASCAR on March 16, 2007.[1] [2] On May 18, a federal judge ruled that AT&T should be allowed to replace the Cingular logos with AT&T logos, and said that AT&T was likely to win the lawsuit. [3] The AT&T logo ran on the #31 at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge on May 19 and so far ever since then until NASCAR ordered the sponsorship off before the 2007 Sharpie 500. A settlement before the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 was made where AT&T Mobility could sponsor the car until the end of 2008; AT&T could remain in the Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series, as AT&T sponsors a Nationwide race at The Milwaukee Mile.

Lenox Industrial Tools and AstraZeneca's Prilosec OTC remain as co-primary sponsors. In June 2008 Caterpillar announced that it would leave the #22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota to sponsor the #31 starting in 2009.

Car #33 HistoryEdit

What is now the #33 car started as the #90 car in 2003. RCR entered the #90 Chevrolet at the fall Talladega race with John Andretti driving. The car was sponsored by AOL 9.0, and the car was numbered 90 for marketing purposes. In 2004, it was announced that Kerry Earnhardt would drive a #33 Richard Childress Racing Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in 5 NASCAR Nextel Cup events in 2004. Mike Skinner would run the first race in the car at the Daytona 500, finishing 22nd. Kerry Earnhardt drove the car in the other three restrictor plate races with Bass Pro Shops sponsoring, his best finish being 24th. Earnhardt attempted all of the restrictor plate races again in 2005, finishing 17th at Talladega. In addition, road course ringer Brian Simo brought home a 10th-place finish at Infineon Raceway. Clint Bowyer, Childress' Busch Series driver in the Busch Series, made his Nextel Cup debut in this car with Sylvania sponsorship at Phoenix in April of 2005.

RCR will expand to 4 full time Nextel Cup teams in 2009 with sponsorship from General Mills' Cheerios and Hamburger Helper brands on the #33 Chevrolet. ESPN has reported that Bobby Labonte who was rumored to be moving to RCR after the 2008 season has agreed to a contract extension with Petty Enterprises.

On May 2, 2008, The team attempted and failed to qualify for the 2008 Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond, with Nationwide Series Driver Scott Wimmer on board, and the Holiday Inn Sponsorship.

Clint Bowyer currently drives the #33 Cheerios Chevrolet.

Nationwide SeriesEdit

Car #2 HistoryEdit

RCR2Busch

The #2 paint scheme from 2000-2006

RCR has fielded this entry in the Nationwide Series since the fall North Carolina Speedway race in 1999, moving the entire team from the Craftsman Truck Series. Kevin Harvick was the first driver of the #2 AC Delco Chevy, winning three races and winning Rookie of the Year, despite missing the spring race at North Carolina Speedway. He went on to win the championship in the Busch Series in 2001 while running full time in Winston Cup as well. In 2002, rookie driver Johnny Sauter won at Chicagoland, and finished 14th in points. The next year, Ron Hornaday drove the car full-time, winning once and posting a third place finish in points. Hornaday followed up that performance with another win and a drop to 4th in points the following year. In 2005, Clint Bowyer took the reins, in a program headed up by veteran crew chief Gil Martin, winning at Nashville Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park, finishing second in points. Bowyer was back in the #2 car in 2006 with crew chief Dan Deeringhoff, while Martin moved up to run the 07 Jack Daniels program. Bowyer ran the full Nextel Cup schedule for RCR in the #07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet, also running the full BGN season with the #2 car where he finished 3rd in points. 2006 was the final year for AC Delco, as the 2007 sponsor for the #2 will be BB&T. Bowyer will run about 17 races in the #2 for the 2007 season and he will run full-time in 2008 season. Kenny Wallace drove for the team in a one-race deal at Gateway International Raceway, sponsored by sandwich chain Jimmy John's.

Car #21 HistoryEdit

RCR212006

The #21 paint scheme in 2006.

The 21 car also debuted in 2000, with Rockwell Automation as the sponsor and Childress' son-in-law Mike Dillon driving. Dillon posted two top 10 finishes and finished 23rd in points that year. Six races into 2001, Dillon was injured at Bristol Motor Speedway, and it was announced at the time he would be out for the rest of the year. Since then, he has taken on other roles with the team. His replacement was Mike Skinner, but after his injury, Jeff Purvis took over briefly, winning at Pikes Peak, before Skinner returned. After Skinner's release, Robby Gordon had the driving duties for the balance of the season. The next year, Jeff Green and Jay Sauter drove the car. In 2003, Harvick returned to the car, driving all races he could afford to, while Johnny Sauter took over on the weeks Harvick was unable to race, winning the owner's championship and causing the first ever owner and championship team split in Busch Series history. Harvick has been the anchor driver ever since, with Clint Bowyer doing the co-driving honors in 2004 and Brandon Miller in 2005. Jeff Burton drove the car at Bristol in 2005. In 2006, Harvick and Jeff Burton split the driving duties in the car with United States Coast Guard sponsorship. Burton won at Atlanta, and Harvick won three more races, pulling out to an over 700-point lead in the points standings with 5 races to go in the 2006 season. AutoZone replaced the Coast Guard sponsorship in 2007, and Harvick drove along with development driver Timothy Peters, until Peters was replaced by Sprint car driver Tim McCreadie. Beginning in 2008 Bobby Labonte will drive the 21 car for 15 races of the season.[4] In May 2008, the team shut down due to financial problems.

Car #29 HistoryEdit

The 29 car was first run by Johnny Sauter in 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as a thank you from Richard Childress (because Johnny shared the 21 car with Kevin Harvick in 2003 and they won the owners championship).

The 29 car appeared in 2005 at Bristol Motor Speedway as part of a promotion for Reese's Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lovers Cups. The promotion involved the 29 painted as the Chocolate Lovers car and the 21 painted as the Peanut Butter Lovers car. The plan was for Jeff Burton to drive the 29 while Kevin Harvick would drive the 21. Qualifying was rained out, so the entries were switched to assure that both cars would make the field (Harvick was a past champion and the #29 was not locked in). Burton drove the 21 while Harvick drove the 29. Harvick won the race in this car with Burton finishing second in the 21. Later in the season, Mayflower Transit sponsored this car in at least one race run by Jeff Burton.

On March 17, 2006, Holiday Inn announced its sponsorship of the 29 for ten races with Burton returning as its driver. The new car made its 2006 debut at Richmond. Burton finished in the top ten all four times the car raced in 2006, including a win at Dover in June.

In 2007, the 29 will go full time, with Scott Wimmer and Jeff Burton sharing the racing duties. Wimmer has shown the potential for victory with this car, including many top 5 finishes. Burton has driven to victory lane in this car four times throughout the season, those coming at Vegas, Atlanta, Fontana, and Charlotte. The team had to just start the race to win the owner's championship, they did that and won the race at Homestead

Camping World Truck SeriesEdit

In the infant years of the CTS, RCR fielded its own truck team, always the #3 Goodwrench Chevy. Mike Skinner, drove the truck the initial two years, winning the series first championship in 1995 along with 16 races. After he left, Jay Sauter hopped on board, winning four times and finishing in the top 10 in points all three years. After 1999, Childress moved the program up the NASCAR Busch Series. The team is now the #2 Busch car. In 2010 Richard Childress brought back there truck operation with Austin Dillon driving the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.

SourcesEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Richard Childress Racing
Sprint Cup Drivers Clint Bowyer (#07) | Kevin Harvick (#29) | Jeff Burton (#31)
Nationwide Series Drivers Scott Wimmer (#29)
Driver development program Drivers Austin Dillon | Ty Dillon | Stephen Leicht | David Mayhew | Tim McCreadie
Partnerships and Affiliations Dale Earnhardt, Inc. | Kevin Harvick Incorporated | Randy Moss Motorsports | Rusty Wallace Racing | SKI Motorsports
Other Richard Childress | Dale Earnhardt
Chevrolet in NASCAR
Models Impala (2008- ) | Monte Carlo (1995-2007) | Lumina (1989-1994) | Monte Carlo (1979-1988) | Chevelle (1964-1977) | Impala (50's-60's)
Sprint Cup Teams Dale Earnhardt, Inc. | Front Row Motorsports | Furniture Row Racing | Haas CNC Racing | Hendrick Motorsports | Richard Childress Racing
Nationwide Series Teams CJM Racing | Day Enterprise Racing | Elite 2 Racing | Front Row Motorsports | Jay Robinson Racing | JD Motorsports | JR Motorsports | Kevin Harvick Incorporated | Mac Hill Motorsports | ML Motorsports | Mac Hill Racing | MSRP Motorsports | Phoenix Racing | Richard Childress Racing | Rusty Wallace Racing | SKI Motorsports
Craftsman Truck Series Teams Kevin Harvick Incorporated | Key Motorsports | MRD Motorsports | Randy Moss Motorsports | SS-Green Light Racing | TRG Motorsports | ThorSport Racing | Xpress Motorsports

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