|It's time to see RCR No. 3 again, isn't it? (Getty)|
WELCOME, N.C. – The way Richard Childress talks, he sounds pretty convinced that Austin Dillon will drive Dale Earnhardt's famous No. 3 in the Sprint Cup Series.
It’s just a matter of when.
Last November, Childress said he didn’t think Dillon would drive a No. 3 car in select races in 2013 but it is a possibility when he moves to Cup full time in 2014.
Not much has happened in the last couple of months to change Childress’ mind about bringing back the slanted No. 3 made famous by Earnhardt, the seven-time Cup champion.
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Kind of cool to see No. 3 again
I wouldn't be opposed at all to seeing the car back on the track and honoring his legacy. It's not at all a lack of respect. All it would do is let us remember him more. If you didn't know any better, a new fan at a race since Earnhardt Sr. passed would think No. 3 was driving that day just because a massive portion of the crowd has gear with the number on it.
NASCAR and its fans love the image of Earnhardt and that No. 3. If fans get the chance to see anyone driving -- likely one of the Dillon brothers -- within the next two years, these fans will have a new driver to root for that follows the lineage of the Earnhardt legacy. Fans root passionately for Kevin Harvick because he is the direct cross over link, and he had success. Dale Jr. already had the fans, but they grew because of his father.
Whoever takes over this car has a huge amount of responsibility to perform well and NOT disrespect the legacy. Richard Childress would surely not use a few of the Cup cars he gave Brendan Gaughan or Jeff Burton last season. The last thing the fans want to see out of the No. 3 car in battling for 33rd.
The Dillon boys look like they are going to be special and around for a while. Also, Childress has a vested interest to also see them -- his grandsons -- succeed.