Folks on Twitter and Facebook have been asking what I thought of the 3 coming back to the Cup Series and before I let you know what I think, here’s some points I’d like to bring up.
-Hall of Famer, and legend Richard Petty “The King” has 200 Cup Wins, and 7 Championships, yet his 43 car still circles the track, and we all still consider that Richard’s car even though Aric Almirola is the current driver.
-Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s also a Hall of Famer and his stats, wins, and championships are fully in tact regardless of his number.
-Simply put, NASCAR doesn’t retire numbers, so why should this be any different? (again the 43 is still out there)
-Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran the number 3 in the Nationwide Series even after his fathers death, it would seem he would be the most emotionally attached to that number, and he even says it’s a cool idea and essentially gave Austin and Richard the go ahead to use it.
-Richard Childress himself said he would only run the #3 with an Earnhardt or family member behind the wheel.
-The fact is, the #3 was really never Dale’s number anyway, NASCAR issues car numbers to team owners, so really it’s Richard Childress’, and he can do whatever he wants with that number.
-I think the fact that Richard waited to use it for his own grandson Austin Dillon, Dale would be proud of that. Austin certainly has the talent, the potential and will represent the number 3 well.
Many fans may not know, but The Final Lap radio shows were created because of Dale’s legacy, the title itself is in honor of that tragic day in 2001. So, I for one am excited to see that #3 back on the racetrack where it belongs. Just imagine, coming up in February at Daytona, as the #3 car is about to take the green flag, the crowd is on their feet, holding up 3 fingers.
- 3 returns: Austin Dillon to drive car with Dale Earnhardt number (sportingnews.com)
- Austin Dillon to bring No. 3 to Sprint Cup Series (bnd.com)
- Dillon to drive Dale Sr.’s No. 3 in Sprint Cup (espn.go.com)
- Austin Dillon to bring No. 3 to Sprint Cup Series (myrtlebeachonline.com)