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NASCAR Notes: Finally, The Return Of The Childress #3 Is Announced

BY DAVE GRAYSON
It’s now official. One of the worst kept secrets in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage was officially announced in a December 11th press conference held by Richard Childress Racing.For the first time since 2001, RCR will be campaigning the iconic #3 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series beginning next year. Austin Dillon, who drove the #3 to NASCAR championships in both the Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series will make the move to the Sprint Cup next season. Gil Martin, a 13 year veteran with RCR will be the crew chief.

The bottom line here is a very healthy bottom line. The team has an outstanding line up of corporate sponsors led by Dow Chemicals which was considered a major score for this day and age.

The program between RCR and Dow is driven by several Dow businesses that are directly involved in R&D projects and strategic business and relationship opportunities unique to the NASCAR community. “We see this as a great opportunity to partner with a historic team like Richard Childress Racing that is synonymous with success, integrity and championships, and a championship driver in Austin Dillon,” said Joe Harlan, executive vice president of Dow. “Austin’s winning passion is representative of Dow.”

The #3 Dow Chevrolet is basically all black in color with some white on the door panels. During the press conference, presented live by NASCAR on their official website, there was also live “Twitter” streaming. Overall, fan reaction to the black and white Dow car was very positive. There were some naysayers with the most memorable comment being “the car looks like a dairy cow.” Still another “Tweet” said it “resembled a cop car.” Childress pointed out that fan reaction to bringing back the #3 was overwhelmingly 90 percent positive.

The team’s second primary sponsor will be General Mills, and their Cheerios brand, who has been involved with NASCAR racing for 17 years and a partner with RCR for six years. This car is painted a bright Cheerios yellow with black overlays and is very sharp looking.

Cheerios launched the @CheerThe3 communities on Facebook and Twitter so fans can access exclusive content and share their excitement around Austin and the #3 race team. “With Austin Dillon’s success in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, we’re proud to continue our support of Austin, a proven winner and passionate driver,” said Gregg Dorazio, manager of shopper marketing and motorsports for General Mills. “He shares many of the same values as the Cheerios brand and has a bright future in the sport. We’re excited to join him in this next step in his career.”

Other corporate partners joining the RCR #3 team includes Bass Pro Shops, Real Tree Outdoors, UNOH (University of North Western Ohio), American Ethanol and Chevrolet. Again, this new team has an extremely healthy bottom line.

You could literally see the excitement in Austin Dillon’s eyes during the press conference. “My grandfather and everyone at RCR have done a great job of not pushing me too quickly into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Dillon. “I feel like I’ve been able to spend adequate time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series preparing for this next step in my career. I am thrilled to be making this move with partners like Dow and Cheerios, along with some long-time partners who have supported me and RCR throughout my career. I am truly grateful and looking forward to this opportunity.”

Towards the conclusion of the press conference, Richard Childress was asked if he expected any strong emotion over seeing his black #3 take the green flag at the Daytona 500 next February.

“You know, I watched Austin race our #3 truck at Daytona and he wrecked on the first lap of his first race. Then watching him run the Nationwide Series really brought back some memories. By watching the three car run those races I, kind of got used to watching it. But I’m sure when it comes by to take that green flag for the first time, in the 150 qualifying races at Daytona, I’m sure that I’ll feel some emotion. In my heart today, as I sit here, Dale Earnhardt is smiling down and he would want to see the three. I felt it was the thing to do. I know today that he’s accepting this highly,” Childress said.

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Posted by on December 12, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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