DEI and RCR merge engine shops
WELCOME, N.C. – One of NASCAR’s greatest partnerships – Childress and Earnhardt – has been expanded with the creation of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies.
Richard Childress and Teresa Earnhardt announced today that the joint venture partnership will combine the Chevrolet engine departments of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), with engine development work to begin immediately.
Construction of a permanent stand-alone facility located between RCR and DEI will begin later this summer with completion expected by mid 2008. A specific site has not been announced, although a location has been identified pending zoning approval. Until that facility is complete, all work will be divided between the RCR’s engine shop in Welcome, N.C. and DEI’s shop in Mooresville, N.C. It is anticipated that all six RCR and DEI cars will run the first common engine at Daytona in July.
Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies will develop and build engines for the Chevrolet NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams campaigned by the two companies. A long-term goal of the joint venture will include an engine leasing program for teams in NASCAR’s top three divisions. The partnership also has long-term plans to diversify and expand beyond NASCAR by providing race engines to teams competing in series such as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, various off-road and stock car series, sports car series, etc.
“With the direction this sport has taken over the last few years, Teresa and I began talking about ways we could partner together to gain a competitive advantage and, at the same time, expand our resources,” said Richard Childress, President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Both RCR and DEI have proven that a three-car team can build its own engines and compete at the top, and combining the resources of both companies gives us even greater efficiencies and the competitive advantages we’re looking for.”
This is not the first time RCR and DEI have worked together in a technology partnership. RAD, an acronym for the three teams owned by Richard Childress, Andy Petree and Dale Earnhardt, was formed in the mid 1990’s as an aerodynamic consortium between the programs. The partnership was considered wildly successful with the three teams dominating the aerodynamically sensitive restrictor plate tracks Daytona and Talladega for the next few years.
“It is a great day for us to be able to work closely again with Richard and RCR,” said Dale Earnhardt, Inc. CEO Teresa Earnhardt. “Both of us are in the middle of developing and building Chevrolet’s new R07 engine, so this is a perfect time to establish this company to combine resources and work together to get the most out of this package possible. Richard and I both have committed substantial resources to this new company and we share the No. 1 priority to win championships.”
Dale Earnhardt and Childress earned six of Earnhardt’s seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championships (1986, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93, ’94) together at RCR. Over a 20-year span that began when Earnhardt replaced Childress behind the wheel of RCR’s No. 3 Chevrolet for the final 10 races of the 1981 season, the combination scored 67 victories (of Earnhardt’s career total of 76) and legendary status in the world of motorsports.