RCR throws back to the early 1980s with Darlington schemes

Richard Childress Racing is going old school for the Southern 500.

RCR throws back to the early 1980s with Darlington schemes

On Wednesday, RCR rolled out its throwback paint schemes for the No. 3 American Ethanol  and No. 31 Caterpillar Chevys at the Childress Museum in Welcome, N.C., 

The cars, which are based on the Piedmont Airlines Chevy which Ricky Rudd earned RCR's first win at Riverside in 1983, will be piloted by Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4

Team owner Richard Childress remembers those days when RCR consisted of four employees and a limited budget. But Rudd's victory helped jumpstart the company.

"That whole year the sponsorship might have been $250 to $400,000," Childress said. "It wasn't much, but we survived. We had a lot of part-time help. We had a lot of folks that would just come and help so they could go to the race track and a lot of friends helping us. 

"But the best thing I can remember about it is we all did it with heart. We all raced with heart. We know how bad we wanted get out there and win."

Newman, 40, will be making his 17th start on the 1.3-mile track. He has a remarkable average qualifying effort of 9.5 at Darlington. His average finish of 12.2 is bolstered by seven top five and 11 top-10 finishes. With the exception of the 2004 Southern 500 when his engine failed, Newman has been running at the finish in 16 races and completed 98-percent of all laps. 

"I think it's a great looking car," says Ryan Newman. "I'm a big history buff and it's a great opportunity to tie it altogether at my favorite racetrack.

"Last year was the ultimate eye-opener. All the people -- teams, sponsors and everyone that got together and made (Darlington) the ultimate weekend. I think the challenge now is to make it even better. The speedway and NASCAR as well with the teams, everybody stepped up. It's fun. It's a different kind of excitement...As Richard said, we have to thank our sponsors because they're the ones flipping the bill. But for us, it's fun to jump in the seat and drive a car that has a little more historical significance."

In two starts at the Track too Tough to Tame, Dillon’s best finish was 11th in his debut. But the 26-year-old grandson of Richard Childress, who is currently eighth in the Sprint Cup standings, has completed every lap in both races. 

 

 

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