Shake and Bake NASCAR Blog

Three is a magic number: Austin Dillon has big shoes to fill (and not just Dale's)

Richard Childress Racing officially announced that the No. 3 is returning to the Sprint Cup Series and Austin Dillon will be behind the wheel. There's no denying that Dale Earnhardt's success has escalated the No. 3 to legendary status. But "The Intimidator" wasn't the only one to drive the iconic number. We take a look at the history of the No. 3.

Jared C. Tilton / NASCAR

It was probably the worst kept secret in NASCAR. Today, Richard Childress Racing officially announced that the No. 3 is returning to the Sprint Cup Series and Austin Dillon will be behind the wheel. 

There's no denying that Dale Earnhardt's success has escalated the No. 3 to legendary status. But "The Intimidator" wasn't the only one to drive the iconic number. Last September - when rumors began swirling about the possible return of the number - Shake and Bake's Jay Pennell recounted the history of the No. 3. Here's a refresher.

RacingOne / ISC Archives

Junior Johnson was one of the first drivers to use the No. 3 in NASCAR.

 

RacingOne / ISC Archives

As an independent driver/owner, Richard Childress drove the No. 3 after changing his number from No. 96. 

 

RacingOne / ISC Archives

After he left the driver's seat, Childress put Ricky Rudd behind the wheel of the No. 3. 

 

RacingOne / ISC Archives

Once Earnhardt Sr. returned to RCR in 1984, he made the No. 3 Wrangler car successful with two Sprint Cup titles. 

 

RacingOne / ISC Archives

In 1988, Earnhardt and Childress switched to the now iconic black No. 3 car that produced five championships and brought fans to their feet each week. 

 

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Both Mike Skinner and Jay Sauter drove the No. 3 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the 1990s. 

 

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Dillon's younger brother Ty has also had success in the No. 3 truck. 

 

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a throwback No. 3 Wrangler car to victory lane for RCR during the July Nationwide Series race at Daytona in 2010. 

 

Jared C. Tilton / NASCAR

Even Kevin Harvick's No. 29 car has carried the No. 3 on the B-post since it's first race at Rockingham in 2001.

What do you think about the No. 3 returning to the Sprint Cup Series? Tell us in the comments below.