In what was another one of the “worst kept secrets” in NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing announced today that Austin Dillon will indeed be driving the No.3 in the Sprint Cup Series in 2014 with sponsorship from Cheerios and Dow Chemicals.
Gil Martin will be on top of he pit box.
Dillon, the reigning Nationwide Series Champion and 2011 Camping World Truck Series Champion, will be competing for Rookie of the Year this coming season. Grandson of Richard Childress, Dillon has raced the No.3 in all major touring series in the NASCAR circuit.
“I feel the pressure of the number because I want to make it run well for the fans, keep it up front,” Dillon said. “It’s a very special number to our family. … Having the opportunity, the equipment, that stuff is always going to be with me from the very beginning. The number is more for me, putting pressure on myself. I like doing that. It’s something that pushes me. Not everybody can say they have a number that pushes them, and I can, so that’s nice.”
Race fans were outraged when it was officially announced that the No.3 would be returning, many screaming out that it’s a disgrace to Earnhardt legacy.
Dale Earnhard Jr. has no problem with his fathers famous number being brought back to NASCARs premiere series.
“I think it will be great. It was an iconic number for my father and it means a lot to a lot of his fans. This sport doesn’t really retire numbers, and all the numbers have history tied to them for several different reasons. The No. 3 is no different,” Earnhardt said earlier this year.
Even Kelley Earnhardt, Dale Sr’s daughter, is happy to see her fathers number returning. She took to Twitter to congratulate Austin Dillon on the announcement saying “Congrats
@austindillon3 you have carried the “3” to its championship ways:) I expected no less!”
Along with the No.3 announcement, RCR announced that they will not be fielding trucks for the Camping World Truck Series in 2014. Also, Ty Dillon will be taking over for his older brother in the No.3 Nationwide Series Chevrolet.
What are your thoughts on the No.3 returning to the Sprint Cup Series? Leave your comments below!