Richard Childress is the president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, a 14-time championship-winning stock car racing organization. An independent driver who got his start in 1969 and earned 76 top-10 finishes in 285 races, Childress climbed out of the seat with 10 races remaining in the 1981 season, handing over the driving duties to Dale Earnhardt. Together, they made NASCAR history, winning 67 races and six Sprint Cup Series championships (1986-87, 1990-91, 1993-94) and established RCR as one of the premier teams in all of motorsports. RCR teams have earned 13 NASCAR championships and one in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
In 2012, RCR fields three teams each in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In addition to its six Cup championships, RCR has earned five championships in the Nationwide Series (2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008) two in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (1995, 2011), and one in the ARCA Series. RCR has more than 200 overall victories, including its 100th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when Clint Bowyer took the checkered flag at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October 2011. Richard Childress’ grandsons, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon, compete this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, respectively. Austin earned the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship while Ty earned the 2011 ARCA Series presented by Menards championship.
More than 500 dedicated motorsports professionals work at the RCR complex, located in Welcome, N.C., just south of Winston-Salem. Its 70-acre facility consists of 15 buildings and more than 600,000 square feet of shop space, including ECR Engines, the high performance engine production and research and development company which built the engines that powered the 2010 Daytona 500 winner, 2010 and 2011 Brickyard 400 winners and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 winner. ECR Engines also builds race-and-championship winning engines in the Rolex Grand Am Series, SCCA Trans-Am Series and many dirt track racing series.
The Richard Childress family and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center teamed up in July 2008 to form what will become the nation’s most comprehensive Institute for Pediatric Trauma. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will focus on key areas in treatment, education and training, research and prevention of pediatric trauma. The Institute’s goal is to help pave the way for others in the nation searching for ways to help save the lives of severely injured children and help those who survive on the road to recovery. The Childress family has donated $5 million to the Medical Center to initiate the project. For his efforts, Childress was presented, and accepted on behalf of his entire family, NASCAR’s 2008 Home Depot Humanitarian of the Year Award. The Armed Forces Foundation presented him its 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award at its annual banquet in Washington, D.C., in April 2011.
In addition to his fulltime racing career, Childress is the proprietor of Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C. Located at the gateway of the Yadkin River Valley, Childress Vineyards has earned numerous prestigious industry awards. Childress, along with winemaker Mark Friszolowski and vineyard manager Matt Chobanian, have the collective goal of establishing North Carolina as a region for signature winemaking. He also owns Yadkin River Angus, a very successful Black Angus cattle ranch in Clemmons, N.C.
Another great passion Childress has is big-game hunting and the conservation and preservation of wildlife habitat in the United States and throughout the world. He is currently on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and is a Life Member of Safari Club International, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Grand Slam/OVIS. His work with groups like the NRA, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, SCI, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat, among many others, provides him the opportunity to make a difference in preserving wildlife habitats for generations to come.
Richard Childress Bullet Biography
•Born, raised and continues to call the Winston-Salem area home
•President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, a 70-acre facility in Welcome, N.C., with 15 buildings and more than 600,000 square feet of shop space that celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009
•14-time champion team owner (13 in NASCAR, one in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards)
•More than 200 overall victories, including 1998/2007 Daytona 500s and the 1995/2003/2011 Brickyard 400s
•Six championships and 67 victories with the legendary Dale Earnhardt
•Three-time The Sporting News NASCAR Owner of the Year (2001, 2006, 2010)
•NASCAR Cup Series driver from 1969-81 with 76 top-10 finishes in 285 races
•Formed the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in July 2008 … named the 2008 Home Depot Humanitarian of the Year Award at NASCAR’s annual banquet for his and his family’s efforts … named 2011 Armed Forces Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award winner.
•Proprietor of award winning Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C.
•Proprietor of Yadkin River Angus in Clemmons, N.C.
•International big-game hunter and outdoor/wildlife conservationist … sits on the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.