Ty Dillon celebrates his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
There are few things in NASCAR that are as sensitive as the No. 3.
Made famous by Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Childress Racing, the stylized No. 3 is as iconic as anything in American sports.
Debates rage over running the number in the Sprint Cup Series. Some are in favor, while others are vehemently opposed.
While it has yet to return to the Sprint Cup Series, the famous No. 3 is currently being run — quite successfully — by team owner Richard Childress’ grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, respectively.
With the next generation of drivers continuing the legacy, the No. 3 has not seen its final checkered flag in NASCAR.
Thanks to Ty Dillon’s dominant win in the Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night, RCR now has 100 victories in the No. 3 across all three of NASCAR’s top divisions.
"I wish it was Dale Earnhardt. I wish he was still here with us," Dillon said after his historic win.
Richard Childress on the No. 3 100th win: "I know Dale is smiling down tonight." #Nascar
Marking this milestone victory, let’s take a look back at some of the RCR No. 3 vehicle’s most memorable wins.
June 5, 1983 – Riverside International Raceway
Ricky Rudd opened his second season in Richard Childress’ No. 3 car with three-straight pole wins. On the road course in Riverside on June 5, 1983, Rudd gave Childress and his No. 3 the first of many wins.
RIVERSIDE, CA – JUNE 5: Driver Ricky Rudd celebrates in Victory Lane with his crew after winning the Budweiser 400 race on June 5, 1983 at the Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, Calif. This was Richard Childress first victory as a car owner.
July 29, 1984 – Talladega Superspeedway
Partnering up with Childress for the second time, Dale Earnhardt Sr. began an 18-year journey in the No. 3 car in 1984. In June of that year, Earnhardt scored his second of 10 Talladega wins, and his first in the famed No. 3 that would lead him to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
TALLADEGA, AL – JULY 29: Dale Earnhardt and his crew celebrate the win after the Talladega 500. Earnhardt would take home $47,100 for the win.
March 20, 1988 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
After running the blue and yellow Wrangler colors for Childerss since 1984, Earnhardt doned the black hat and the black colors for the first time in 1988. Earnhardt and Childress first took the black No. 3 to victory lane in dominant fashion in Atlanta, leading 270 of 328 laps.
DAYTONA BEACH – FEB. 15: Dale Earnhardt Sr. driver of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and team owner Richard Childress celebrate victory after the Nascar Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, 1998 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fa.
1988: Dale Earnhardt won his only superspeedway race in ’88 at Atlanta, with his other two season triumphs coming on short tracks.
Feb. 15, 1998 – Daytona International Speedway
After years of trying and years of disappointment, the one race that eluded Dale Earnhardt Sr. was finally his. In one of the most memorable moments in NASCAR history, crew members from nearly every team walked to pit road to congratulate Dale Sr. on his first Daytona 500 victory.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEB. 15, 1998: Crew members along pit road congratulate Dale Earnhardt following his victory in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
Oct. 15, 2000 – Talladega Superspeedway
Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a threat at any track he raced at, but none more so than Talladega Superspeedway. In dramatic fashion, Earnhardt Sr. skillfully navigated his way from 18th to first in the final four laps of the race. No one would realize this would be Dale Sr.’s final NASCAR victory.
TALLADEGA, AL – OCT. 15, 2000: Dale Earnhardt scored his 10th career victory at Talladega Superspeedway, capturing the Winston 500.
July 2, 2010 – Daytona International Speedway
Coming together to honor the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., Childress put Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel of a No. 3 car done up like Dale Sr.’s Wrangler paint scheme for the July Nationwide Series race at Daytona.
The entire Earnhardt family was on hand to help Dale Jr. and Richard Childress unveil the throwback paint scheme.
MOORESVILLE, NC – APRIL 29: (L-R) Taylor Earnhardt, Kelley Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Childress, owner of Childress Racing, Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Kerry Earnhardt unveil the No. 3 Wrangler car that Earnhardt Jr. will drive in the Nationwide race in Daytona later this year, April 29, 2010 in Mooresville, N.C.
In typical Earnhardt-Childress fashion, the pair ended up in victory lane at the end of the night.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 02: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (R), driver of the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet, and team owner Richard Childress (L) pose in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Feb. 5, 1995 – Phoenix International Raceway
Richard Childress Racing has always played an integral role in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Mike Skinner opened the inaugural season with a win in the No. 3 truck. Skinner and Childress would go on to win 16 races and the 1995 championship in the black No. 3 truck.
PHOENIX, AZ – 1995: Mike Skinner’s event-winning ride was this Chevrolet pick-up truck owned by Richard Childress Racing.
July 11, 2010 – Iowa Speedway
After winning three-straight poles, young Austin Dillon finally took the No. 3 to victory lane in the Camping World Truck Series.
NEWTON, IA – JULY 11: Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2010 in Newton, Iowa.
June 29, 2012 – Kentucky Speedway
Moving up the ranks, it did not take long for Austin Dillon to find success in his first full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. His first series win came in June at Kentucky Speedway, where he started from the pole and dominated the race.
SPARTA, KY – JUNE 29: Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Chevrolet, performs a burnout to celebrate winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 29, 2012 in Sparta, Ky.
Aug. 31, 2012 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
Younger brother Ty couldn’t let Austin have all the fun in the famous No. 3. Ty scored his first career NASCAR win by beating Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta.
HAMPTON, GA – AUG. 31: Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet, performs a burn out in celebration of winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Aug. 31, 2012 in Hampton, Ga.
Nov. 1, 2013 – Texas Motor Speedway
Ty Dillon’s Camping World Truck Series win Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway was in typical No. 3 fashion. Leading 130 of the 147 laps, Dillon was the class of the field for much of the race, but had to fight his way back to the front when it mattered most. Taking the checkered flag, Ty etched his place in history as giving grandfather Richard Childress his 100th win for the famous No. 3.
1 Nov., 2013, Fort Worth, Texas USA Richard Childress, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon