|credit: Getty Images for NASCAR/Geoff Burke|
The name Richard Childress has become synonymous with NASCAR, and on Jan. 20, 2017, he will become a permanent part of NASCAR history as one of five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Learn more about Childress in this week’s Fast Facts, and look for profiles on fellow Hall of Famers Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons in coming weeks.
- Richard Childress was born Sept. 21, 1945 in Winston-Salem, NC. His NASCAR career began as a “replacement driver” at Talladega Superspeedway in 1969 during a drivers’ strike; over 12 years, Childress made 285 starts in NASCAR’s premier series with a career-best finish of third. Childress’ number was originally 96, but he changed to 3 in 1976.
- Childress retired as a driver in 1981, putting Dale Earnhardt in the car for the season before Ricky Rudd took over for two years (1982-83), giving Childress his first win as an owner in June 1983 at Riverside International Raceway. Earnhardt returned to the car in 1984 – the rest is NASCAR history.
- Richard Childress Racing fielded seven teams during the 2016 NASCAR campaign: Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman in the Cup Series, and Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones and Brendan Gaughan in the Xfinity Series; a fourth Xfinity Series car was fielded for multiple drivers, including Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael McDowell.
- RCR has won 12 NASCAR championships: six in the Cup Series, all with Earnhardt; four in the Xfinity Series – 2001 and 2006 with Kevin Harvick, 2008 with Clint Bowyer and 2013 with Austin Dillon; and two in the Camping World Truck Series – 1995 with Mike Skinner and 2011 with Austin Dillon. RCR also won the 2011 ARCA Racing Series championship with Ty Dillon.
- Childress owns Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC, as well as the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, NC. In 2008, he and his wife Judy established the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
- Learn more about Childress and RCR at www.rcrracing.com, and more about Childress Vineyards at www.childressvineyards.com. Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame at www.nascarhall.com.