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Dillon to bring Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 back to Cup series (4th Update)UPDATE #4 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Another staged race. NASCAR kept the caution out long enough in today's Homestead Nationwide race to make sure Austin Dillon won the championship. They needed the "3" to win a championship. It was even obvious to my wife. What a joke. Tim DeCesaro
11/16/13 The announcement is "pretty close," Austin Dillon said. Two years after winning a NASCAR Truck series title in a #3 Chevy fielded by his grandfather's NASCAR team, possibly still basking in the glow of a first Nationwide Series title he could clinch on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the same number for the same organization, the 23-year-old under the ever-present cowboy hat (used to hide how small he is) is expected to steward the iconic number back into the Sprint Cup Series for the first time in 13 years. ESPN
06/26/13 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Just like everyone predicted that NASCAR would put Danica Patrick on this year's Daytona 500 (to make her a star), everyone expects the #3 to be awarded the pole for next year's Daytona 500 if Childress runs the number. It's called riding the coattails of Dale Earnhardt Sr. to sell tickets. Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles
06/26/13 Richard Childress is still mulling whether to bring Dale Earnhardt's famous #3 back to Sprint Cup competition. Childress, who owns the rights to the car number that Earnhardt made famous, has said since last November that he believes that fans would accept a return of the slanted design that marked Earnhardt's car for six of his seven Cup championships. Speaking on SiriusXM's NASCAR channel Wednesday morning, Childress reiterated that only a member of his family or the Earnhardt family would race the number in Cup. Childress grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon have raced the number in the Truck and Nationwide series in recent years, and Austin Dillon could run a full-time Cup schedule in 2014. "We're definitely in the process of discussing that," Childress told the network Wednesday. "Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon did a great job representing it." He said he wouldn't want to run the #3 in Sprint Cup with just a partial schedule. The #3 has not been used in Cup since Earnhardt's death in 2001. More at Sporting News
Childress will try to build the Austin Dillon brand on the back of Dale Earnhardt's popularity
Austin Dillon will drive Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Sprint Cup car in the Daytona 500 in February.
Which begs the question, when will he race the No. 3, the car number Dale Earnhardt made famous, in a Sprint Cup race?
Dillon, 22, has driven the No. 3 in the Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series, but taking it back to the Sprint Cup Series, where Earnhardt won seven championships and became a legend, is another matter. The famous car number is considered sacred to longtime Earnhardt fans, many whom don’t want to see it raced again.
But it could return as early as next year and it appears that with each passing day, team owner Richard Childress is leaning more toward bringing it back to Cup for the first time since Earnhardt’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500.
Childress indicated in June that if Dillon did drive a No. 3 in Cup, it wouldn’t be the stylized, slanted No. 3 made famous by Earnhardt. But Childress wouldn’t even rule that out Friday after announcing that Dillon, his grandson, would run the Daytona 500 next year.
“There was no consideration for the 500 (next year) but there is consideration that someday we may end up running a 3 in Cup with him,” Childress said. “It’s not going to be popular with everybody, but so many of the fans, after seeing it on this car, love it and ask for it back.
“It reminds them of seeing Dale. It brings back the memories of Dale. We haven’t (totally) made our mind up (on what style of 3).”
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