Austin Dillon's run validates progress at Richard Childress Racing
RELATED: Full race results " Race recap MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Ryan Newman's victory at Phoenix Raceway, made possible by staying out on old tires, seemingly came out of nowhere. After all, no Richard Childress Racing driver had won an event in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2013 before Newman took the checkered flag at Phoenix. But the speed in the RCR cars has improved, as both Austin Dillon and Newman proved in Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Dillon came home fifth, his first top five since running fourth at Bristol last August. Newman contributed an eighth-place finish. "We didn't have the speed the first couple practices, which for some reason I never do here," Dillon said. "It's just a trend. I can't go fast enough to start, and then we consistently get better throughout practice and the race. It's nice to do that, but I wish I could not give the field half a race before we get up through there. "Starting 20th was big for us because our last practice was good. Our car had takeoff speed the whole day. It's the first race car we've had that can actually restart and go for the first five laps, and that's a lot of fun, and we've got to focus on that. I think the way the new racing is with the stages and stuff, short-run speed is key, and if you have long run speed, falloff, it really doesn't matter because you're going to get a caution at some point." ANALYSIS: Stage racing considered a hit Dillon was strong during the final 64-lap green-flag run but couldn't catch the cars of race winner Brad Keselowski or runner-up Kyle Busch. "I thought we were going to have a little something for the two leaders, but in middle of the run, our car just lacked a little bit more turn and forward drive," Dillon said. "Then at the end we could come back to them again. I think I was running the 22 (fourth-place finisher Joey Logano) back down there at the end. "Just proud of my guys and thankful for this run – we needed it."
2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Standings
MORE: Monster Energy Series owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Roger Penske 22 330 0 0 0 3 3 7 2 Joe Gibbs 20 277 -53 -53 2 2 12 7 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 260 -70 -17 0 2 2 7 4 Chip Ganassi 42 252 -78 -8 1 1 6 7 5 Rick Hendrick 9 244 -86 -8 0 1 1 7 6 J D Gibbs 18 231 -99 -13 1 3 3 7 7 Richard Childress 2 205 -125 -26 0 0 0 7 8 Richard Childress 3 201 -129 -4 0 0 0 7 9 Kelley Earnhardt-Miller 7 200 -130 -1 1 0 5 7 10 Jack Roush 16 184 -146 -16 1 0 5 7 11 Richard Childress 21 180 -150 -4 0 1 1 7 12 Jack Roush 6 180 -150 0 0 0 0 7 13 Matt Kaulig 11 164 -166 -16 0 0 0 7 14 Chip Ganassi 48 163 -167 -1 0 0 0 7 15 Joe Gibbs 19 160 -170 -3 0 0 0 7 16 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5 157 -173 -3 0 0 0 7 17 James Whitener 28 139 -191 -18 0 0 0 7 18 Gene Haas 00 130 -200 -9 0 0 0 7 19 Richard Childress 33 128 -202 -2 0 0 0 7 20 Maria Gonzalez Hernandez 24 125 -205 -3 0 0 0 7 21 Mark Smith 14 111 -219 -14 0 0 0 7 22 Richard Childress 62 108 -222 -3 0 0 0 7 23 Rod Sieg 39 108 -222 0 0 0 0 7 24 Maurice Gallagher Jr. 23 103 -227 -5 0 0 0 7 25 Michelle Gosselin 90 88 -242 -15 0 0 0 7 26 Tony Stewart 41 86 -244 -2 0 1 1 2 27 Johnny Davis 01 86 -244 0 0 0 0 7 28 Tony Clements 51 83 -247 -3 0 0 0 7 29 Gary Cogswell 0 81 -249 -2 0 0 0 7 30 Gary Keller 4 81 -249 0 0 0 0 7 31 Fred Biagi 98 76 -254 -5 0 0 0 5 32 Jimmy Means 52 74 -256 -2 0 0 0 7 33 Roger Penske 12 64 -266 -10 1 0 0 2 34 Bobby Dotter 07 64 -266 0 0 0 0 7 35 Danielle Long 40 63 -267 -1 0 0 0 7 36 Rick Hendrick 88 49 -281 -14 0 0 0 1 37 Bj McLeod 78 48 -282 -1 0 0 0 7 38 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 99 47 -283 -1 0 0 0 7 39 Jessica Smith-Mcleod 8 41 -289 -6 0 0 0 7 40 Rick Gdovic 46 37 -293 -4 0 0 0 2 41 Danielle Long 13 20 -310 -17 0 0 0 7 42 Mike Harmon 74 16 -314 -4 0 0 0 7 43 Lynn Cockrum 25 12 -318 -4 0 0 0 2 44 Mark Smith 44 10 -320 -2 0 0 0 1 45 Pamela Sieg 93 6 -324 -4 0 0 0 6 46 Victor Obaika 97 4 -326 -2 0 0 0 6 47 Cindy Shepherd 89 2 -328 -2 0 0 0 5 48 Victor Obaika 177 0 -330 -2 0 0 0 1
No. 22 car fails post-race inspection at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The No. 22 Team Penske Ford of driver Ryan Blaney failed post-race technical inspection following Saturday's Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The car measured too low in the left front, according to a NASCAR spokesperson. Any penalties arising from the failure will likely be determined and announced Tuesday. Blaney led four times for 61 laps. As a full-time competitor in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Blaney is not awarded points for his results in the XFINITY Series, however the No. 22 team is competing for the owner's title. MORE: Saturday's race results The race winning entry of Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing) passed post-race at-track inspection, as did the entries of Daniel Hemric ( Richard Childress Racing) and Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports). The Hemric and Allgaier entries finished highest among those competing for the XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash bonus and will be taken back to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for further evaluation.
With sights set on victory, Hemric's consolation is $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus
RELATED: Race results " How Dash 4 Cash works BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Daniel Hemric didn't have a lot of time to consider winning the $100,000 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash bonus Saturday. Because for a few moments in the final laps of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Richard Childress Racing driver was more concerned about a potential win. "In all honesty, in the back of my mind we haven't put ourselves in positon to run for a win this year," Hemric said after his series-best fifth-place finish earned him the D4C bonus. "I felt like we were doing that (today) as the stages went by and as the laps went by. "The Dash 4 Cash is always lingering there but it's not something that crosses your mind." Competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the XFINITY Series, Hemric had finished ninth at Atlanta and seventh at Phoenix before Saturday's top five. After crossing the line ninth Saturday in the opening stage that saw Cole Custer (Stewart-Haas Racing) and Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports) earn two of the four qualifying berths for the D4C, Hemric and crew chief Danny Stockman opted to stay out under caution for rain as the second stage was nearing completion. Following a 98-minute red-flag period, those in front of him opted to pit, putting Hemric in the lead with just two laps remaining to complete the stage. He held on for the stage win, then pitted for adjustments under the yellow during the stage break, and those changes, he said, "really gave us a shot at the end of the race." "I honestly didn't think everybody would come down in front of us, so obviously we were given a golden ticket there to go try to win some points," he said. Teammate Brendan Gaughan was third in the stage to earn the final qualifying berth for the bonus. But one by one, Gaughan, Custer and Allgaier (who won the D4C bonus at Phoenix earlier this year), fell out of contention in the final stage of the race. Gaughan crashed after contact from Darrell Wallace Jr. on Lap 244; Custer, who had run as high as third, went behind the wall on Lap 261 after contact with Brandon Jones while Allgaier was caught up in an incident with William Byron. "When the 00 (Custer) and the 7 (Allgaier) fell back there and the 62 (Gaughan) had his problems it put us in a really good spot," Hemric said. "At that point, it was being aware the situation I was in but obviously we were running second, third there at times, and had a shot to win the race. "And I can promise you, if you win the race, you'll definitely win the Dash 4 Cash and that's what our ultimate goal was." Hemric closed on race leader Ryan Blaney before a late-race restart saw Erik Jones shoot from fourth place into the lead, bumping Blaney out of the way in the process on the way to the win. "I hate we came up short of that (win) but the 20 (Jones) had an incredible run from his (speeding) penalty to come back and win," Hemric said. "He had a ton of speed. When he and (Blaney) got into it I thought we were going to have an opportunity, or an opportunity to lose it all at the same time when we all stacked up in (Turns) 1 and 2. But luckily it worked out." Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler and Hemric completed the top five. The $600,000 bonus that goes to any driver who is the highest finishing eligible Dash 4 Cash driver in all four races, and wins the fourth race outright, is off the table with Hemric’s victory. The two remaining D4C races are scheduled for Richmond (April 29) and Dover (June 3). &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Richard Childress Racing debuts newly designed website
RELATED: See the new website WELCOME, N.C. -- In honor of Richard Childress' upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has rolled out a digital video series highlighting milestones throughout his illustrious career. Entitled 'Richard Childress : A Career of Firsts,' the series features Richard Childress himself recounting significant 'firsts' from his long career in motorsports, from the first race car he purchased to the first time he took grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon to drive at a racetrack. RCR has partnered with Chevrolet for the video series. "I was thrilled to work on a project like this with such a longstanding partner as Chevrolet," said Childress . "This video series has been a unique trip down memory lane. I really hope NASCAR fans and RCR employees enjoy the stories as much as I have enjoyed the adventure over the last 48 years." The retrospective video series is featured on RCR's newly relaunched website, for which they partnered with NASCAR Digital Media (NDM) in the second half of 2016 to develop. The new website will support RCR's focus on producing and distributing original content and give visitors an improved overall digital experience. "Our digital efforts and original content have become a major focus for RCR and many of our partners over the past few years," said Ben Schlosser, Chief Marketing Officer of RCR. "How better to celebrate Richard ’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and launch our new website than to have Richard tell the stories about his 'firsts' over his amazing career? The website designed and built by NDM allows RCR to fully showcase this type of engaging content."
Dale Earnhardt-Wrangler deal risky, but paid off big for Richard Childress
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Richard Childress went all in. He wagered everything -- his yesterday, his today and his tomorrow. He bet it on a late-season deal with a driver who was a maverick, and he bet it on nothing more than a sliver of a sponsorship. And at the end of that 1981 season, less than a dozen races after the relationships began, the driver and the sponsor departed. The story could have ended there. Driver gone, sponsor gone and Childress , who had tried to scratch out a living as a racer before going the ownership route, hopelessly broke and perhaps finished with NASCAR. But it didn't. Two years later, both Dale Earnhardt and Wrangler reunited with Childress . The union produced a pair of championships and a slew of wins, and set Childress and Earnhardt on a path of success rarely seen in NASCAR. "I borrowed everything I could on my home; I sold everything I had that I thought I could sell just to run Dale those 10 races," Childress said Wednesday during a celebration at Wrangler's headquarters here in Greensboro. "At the end of it, I was just in debt. I had borrowed money from some folks and everything just to run those 10 races." It's fitting that the celebration of the region's textile community, dubbed Jeansboro Day, took place this week, just as NASCAR's premier series prepares to return to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Because it was at Talladega in the summer of '81 that all the pieces first came together that would unite Childress , Earnhardt and Wrangler. "I had already talked to Dale at the track earlier that day," Childress said, "and put our deal together." Later, at the long-gone Anniston Inn just east of the track, he met with Phil Holmer of Goodyear, Wrangler officials and Joe Whitlock, who handled Earnhardt's public relations at the time. Earnhardt had won the 1980 title while driving for team owner Rod Osterlund, but when the team was sold mid-season to J.D. Stacy in '81, the driver wanted out. A deal to run the final 11 races of the season was struck, with Childress and Wrangler. By year's end, Earnhardt had managed six top-10 finishes, but the strong runs were offset by mechanical issues and parts breakage. "We ran good, but I knew we didn't have what it took to run him for a championship," Childress said. Dale Earnhardt talks with Richard Childress after the two reunited in 1984. Dale Earnhardt Jr . remembers that season, in particular his father's second start with Childress . "I remember the race at Bristol where you had the accident on pit road that second race that dad drove for you in 1981," Earnhardt Jr. said Wednesday. "I was there. I know that because one of my most favorite photos of me and my father, they basically had these two tires stacked on top of each other and I'm standing in the wheel to get a better perspective to watch the race. I must have been 7 years old. "But Dad is standing with me and we're both watching the rest of the race; the car is in the background too damaged to continue. But my favorite photo of me and my father actually happened that day at Bristol." At the suggestion of Childress , Earnhardt left at the end of the year, taking the Wrangler funding with him to sign with veteran team owner Bud Moore. Childress hired driver Ricky Rudd, and a late deal put Piedmont Airlines on the car and helped stabilize the organization. Wrangler officials, knowing his dire financial situation, had kicked in an extra $50,000 at year's end to help Childress keep his operation upright. "That really helped me going into the following year," Childress said. What would have he done without it? "It's hard to say," he said. "I never look back. I just look ahead and that was one of those deals that helped me look ahead. I don't know where we would have been without it." Before the '84 season began, Childress said Wrangler officials wanted to reunite, with Earnhardt once again driving the No. 3 Chevrolet. The Earnhardt/Moore union had produced just three wins over the course of two years. Childress was more than willing to agree. "I'll never forget Bud told me at Riverside, 'Boy, that boy will break you,'" Childress recalled Moore telling him of Earnhardt. Instead, the pair flourished. A Legacy Continues In 2010, Earnhardt brought the brand back to the race track for a one-off race, winning the XFINITY Series event that summer at Daytona International Speedway . The car, prepared by his own JR Motorsports group, sported the No. 3 and a paint scheme similar to his father's. He continues to serve as a spokesperson for the company, and says it is "amazing" that the relationship has endured for so long. "My father first had Wrangler on the side of his car at the end of the 1980 season; he won the championship with Wrangler on the quarter panel of his car racing at Ontario in 1980 for the final race of the season," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Then he went into 1981 with Wrangler as a full-time sponsor. And we're still working together today. "I'm very proud of that relationship, very proud that it spanned so many years. Typically, relationships just don't last that long. So it says a lot about Wrangler and what they get out of the sport itself; their connection to race fans and the legacy of the Earnhardt family and Richard , everything that Richard and Dad did together."
Newman, Richard Childress Racing announce extension
Ryan Newman and Richard Childress Racing announced Monday that they had agreed on a multi-year contract extension to keep the veteran in the No. 31 Chevrolet. Newman is wrapping up his third full-time season with Childress , and he's notched 12 top-five finishes -- including a fourth-place effort Sunday at Charlotte -- and 40 top-10s during that time span. "Ryan's consistency on the track has been a benefit to our organization and this extension solidifies the future of our racing program," said Richard Childress , Chairman and CEO of RCR. "Ryan proved the first year he was here that we could contend for championships and with this continuation, I believe we can fulfill our commitment to winning races and a championship. Ryan has worked hard to represent many of our partners, especially the primary sponsors Caterpillar, Grainger and WIX Filters, helping them to get the most out of their respective racing programs." While Newman and Childress have not won together, the driver advanced to the Championship 4 in 2014 and raced Kevin Harvick for the win -- and championship -- in the closing laps before finishing second. "I am pleased to continue driving for Richard Childress Racing ," said Newman. "Our goal to win a championship all but turned into a reality during our first year together. I feel like since then, we have some unfinished business to complete. I'm fortunate to have forged a great relationship with my crew chief Luke Lambert, and I very much want to not only help him reach our goal of winning a Cup championship but also getting him his first Cup victory." RCR's three-team lineup also includes Austin Dillon in the No. 3 and Paul Menard in the No. 27. Newman's return likely means Ty Dillon will not drive full time for the Richard Childress Racing contingent in 2017. Previously, Ty Dillon said he planned on being in the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2017. "We've got a lot of options on the table," Dillon said in July at Iowa Speedway . " … I had talks with other teams in the past couple years and had opportunities, but it's always been my dream to drive for RCR and be teammates with my brother."
'Hero' moment for Ty Dillon as Richard Childress makes NASCAR Hall
CONCORD, N.C. -- Richard Childress has many titles to Ty Dillon : Team owner, hunting buddy, grandfather. And now NASCAR Hall of Famer, thanks to a moment that Dillon and his family -- including brother and fellow driver Austin -- weren't expecting Wednesday. "I was actually standing with my mom when I got a text message, 'Congratulations to your grandfather,'" Dillon said on Thursday during a media availability at Charlotte Motor Speedway . "We were like, 'No way!' We weren't even expecting this year. I'm so happy for him." Childress is part of the five-person 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that was unveiled Wednesday. Joining Childress in the Hall will be Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin , Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. H. Clay Earles was named the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. "I think at first, I called him probably five minutes after I found out -- I'm sure he was getting all kinds of calls -- it seemed like it hadn't set in for him yet," Dillon said of his first communication with his grandfather after learning Childress had made the Hall of Fame. "He's a hard worker so he's always thinking about what's going on next. "I saw him this morning (at an appearance at Bass Pro Shops). First thing I did was just give him a big hug because I was proud of him. He's very happy today and excited, and it's well-deserved." Childress , 70, began his career as a driver, making his first NASCAR start in 1969, and he went on to score six top-five finishes and 76 top-10 finishes over 12 years and 285 starts. He formed Richard Childress Racing in 1969 and eventually teamed with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt for six championships. In his storied history as an owner, Childress is the first to have owner championships in all three NASCAR national series, and his 11 driver championships are second all-time. RCR has 212 NASCAR national series victories: 105 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 76 wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and 31 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The bond Dillon and Childress share is much more than that of your typical grandfather and grandson. "He's my hero and glad that I get to spend time with him not only in our sport but every day at the shop and away from it, when we're hunting and hanging out with family," Dillon said. RCR currently fields Chevrolets for three full-time teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ( Austin Dillon in the No. 3, Paul Menard in the No. 27 and Ryan Newman in the No. 31) and four full-time teams in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (Menard/Dillon primarily in the No. 2, Ty Dillon in the No. 3, Brandon Jones in the No. 33 and Brendan Gaughan in the No. 62). "He's such a focused individual about making this race team great again." Ty Dillon said. "I think this is a moment that is going to be big for him for feeling like he's finally made it. He's the first one at the shop every single day and the last one to leave. Working hard like he did way back when he had a $20 race car. I think it's finally a moment for him to sit back and realize what he's accomplished and hopefully it continues to set in for the rest of the week."
Prolonged excellence has Childress Hall of Fame bound
RELATED: Learn more about the Class of 2017 MORE: Photos from voting day, of class Journeyman stock car racer Richard Childress caught lightning in a bottle, not once but twice. NASCAR's only driver strike, on the eve of the 1969 inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway , gave Childress the opportunity to earn enough money to build his first race shop and lay the foundation for Richard Childress Racing , the powerhouse Chevrolet organization which to date has claimed 11 owner titles across NASCAR’s three national series. Nearly a decade later, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina native met Dale Earnhardt. Together, the pair won six NASCAR premier series championships along with 67 races between 1984 and 2000. Earnhardt entered the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a member of its 2010 inaugural class. Childress will be enshrined in the hall on Jan. 20 in Charlotte, N.C. (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN), along with Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons. Childress , 71, grew up selling peanuts and popcorn at Winston-Salem's legendary Bowman Gray Stadium. Soon after, he bought a 1947 Plymouth for $20. "That's where it started," he said in a Grainger.com interview. "It's the best investment I ever made." Top drivers – those with factory contracts – made a decent living while independents like Childress barely scraped by. He went to Talladega in the fall of 1969 to compete in a preliminary event but was asked by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. to enter the Talladega 500 when Professional Driver Association members withdrew, citing high speeds and tire failures. "I had made three or four thousand dollars on Saturday," Childress told The Birmingham News in 2009. "The money that (France) paid us to run – we called it deal money in those days – plus my winnings, I came back with seven, eight, 10 thousand dollars. In those days it was big money. "It was my big break. Life’s all about the breaks and when you take advantage of them. That was the difference between making it and not making it." Childress never won a race as a driver but was able to secure enough sponsorship to keep going. His equipment generally was immaculate and pleased supporters, who ultimately would provide much greater – and crucial – financial backing. Earnhardt, who'd won his first championship in 1980, chose not to accompany Rod Osterlund's team upon its sale to J.D. Stacy. He joined Childress for 11 races, replacing the owner in the driver's seat. "I didn't want to get out of the car but I knew the opportunity was there – and I didn't want to pass it up," Childress told Foxnews.com last year. "I knew Dale was a championship driver. That was one of the biggest breaks in the history of RCR and Richard Childress . "I was maxxed out. I did everything I could do on my home. I sold everything I thought I had that I could sell just to run Dale in those (11) races." Earnhardt left to race for Bud Moore, and Childress – thanks to a bail-out from primary sponsor Wrangler Jeans – was able to continue. With Ricky Rudd, RCR scored its first victory in June 1983 at Riverside International Raceway. Earnhardt returned to RCR the following season, capturing the team’s first premier series title in 1986. Additional championships followed in 1987, 1990-91 and 1993-94. Longtime racing executive and Charlotte Motor Speedway promoter H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler credited Childress for molding Earnhardt into one of NASCAR's greatest drivers. "In his own, quiet Southern way, Richard instilled in Dale all he knew," Wheeler wrote in "Growing Up NASCAR." " Richard knew what to say and when to say it and he knew how to get the best out of his driver. Richard was a brilliant, brilliant coach, something most drivers never get." Earnhardt and Childress finally won the long-elusive Daytona 500 in 1998, three years before the driver's death on the final lap of the "Great American Race." Childress considered leaving the sport – "Probably all the way up until Tuesday. Sunday night, definitely," he said – but recalled a hunting incident after which he and Earnhardt agreed each would go on if something happened to the other. RCR promoted its NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Kevin Harvick to drive its Chevrolets – retiring the iconic No. 3 in deference to the late Intimidator. Childress returned the number to its cars several years ago when his grandson, Austin Dillon , moved to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after winning NASCAR Camping World Truck and XFINITY titles. To date, RCR has won 105 NASCAR premier series races. The organization counts four XFINITY owner titles and the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship in 1995 with Mike Skinner. RCR also captured the XFINITY Series driver championship in 2013 and the Camping World Truck Series driver title in 2011, both with Austin Dillon . Childress , recipient of the 1986 Bill France Award of Excellence, is a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, International Motorsports Hall of Fame and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
With long history in sport, Childress ready for Friday's Hall of Fame induction
RELATED: Mark Martin on what drove him to success Richard Childress will go into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night with perhaps a bit more of an appreciation than most, having spent the better part of his life tied snugly to the sport of stock car racing. It's been his livelihood and his lifeblood. From selling snacks as a youngster in the grandstands at a local track to overseeing a racing organization today that boasts more than 500 employees, Childress is one of the few still around that has seen and done it all. Childress , 71, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday along with fellow team owners Rick Hendrick and Raymond Parks and former drivers Mark Martin and Benny Parsons (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Incredible stories shadow each of this year's inductees. The story of Childress' rise from dropout to multi-millionaire is no less so. Today, his Richard Childress Racing organization fields three full-time teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and three in the NASCAR XFINITY Series . His teams have won 12 championships and 214 races across NASCAR's three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck). Six of his championships came with driver Dale Earnhardt, an inaugural member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and regarded by many as one of the sport's most talented and influential drivers. "I'm sure every one of the inductees are very proud," Childress said last week during a round of media availabilities for this year's Hall of Fame Class. "My feeling is, I started out selling peanuts and popcorn at Bowman-Gray Stadium watching my heroes, Billy and Bobby Myers, Curtis Turner and Glen Wood, these guys race and that's all I ever wanted to do was become a race driver." He worked full time to live his dream part-time until the pull of the racing won out and for the longest time it looked like a fool's errand. Money didn't flow and bills piled up but like everyone else chasing a dream, Childress was undeterred. At 24, he got his first big break, competing at Talladega Superspeedway after many of NASCAR's top stars, citing tire concerns, boycotted the race. He returned home to purchase a small parcel of land with the money he earned from that weekend's races, and started his own auto repair business. "I left there with more money than I'd ever seen at one time," he said. Being his own boss also kept his NASCAR dream alive. He jumped in full time in 1976 as an owner/driver at a time when only a handful of teams had the support and the finances to contend for wins on a consistent basis. "I can remember the days when we had to syphon the fuel out of the race car to get home, put it in the tow car," Childress said. "A lot of people don't understand how it was back in the early '70s … what not just me but everyone was going through. You had the Pettys, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, there were about four big teams … those were the guys you were racing against." His second big break came in the early '80s when he made the decision to focus on ownership and leave the driving to someone else. Earnhardt came and went, driving a handful of races at the end of the '81 season. A two-year stint with Ricky Rudd helped the team turn the corner and build the consistency necessary to compete for wins on a regular basis. By '84, Earnhardt had returned and RCR had improved its product tremendously. "Ricky was a young, up and coming driver and I think we both helped each other a lot," Childress said. "He helped me as a car owner and I think we helped him as a driver, with the past driving experience I had and as an owner being able to work with a driver was totally different. I think it was a learning experience for all of us. "When Dale came back in '84 I was much more comfortable as an owner at that point." It's been three years since a driver for RCR won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series although all three of its current drivers -- Austin Dillon , Paul Menard and Ryan Newman -- have qualified for the Chase on one or more occasions. Childress , winless as a driver in 285 career starts, remains positive and focused. No different than when he was just starting out with little more than a dream and a desire. "You had to have a passion," he said. "Even when I was driving and wasn't winning … I never started a race that I didn't think this was going to be the day that the big boys had a problem and I was going to be able to come in there and win. "Just the sheer drive of wanting to succeed, that's what kept me going." And it's led him right into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
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