Richard Childress will be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, but two of his race vehicles will have already found a new home in the Hall’s Glory Road exhibit.
The third edition of the Glory Road exhibit is themed ‘ICONS’ and features 18 NASCAR race vehicles that range from 1952 to 2015. Among those selected were two Richard Childress Racing rides; Mike Skinner’s 1995 Chevrolet Silverado and Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet run in the 1999 NASCAR All-Star Race.
“The theme of our new version of Glory Road is ICONS. The vehicles, drivers and races featured in the exhibit are iconic in our sport’s history, including the two RCR vehicles on display,” said Buz McKim, NASCAR Hall of Fame Historian. “The black No. 3 Chevrolet truck driven by Mike Skinner helped launch the popular NASCAR Truck Series and was totally dominant during the series’ inaugural season. We also wanted to display a car driven by Dale Earnhardt, and we left the decision of that vehicle up to Richard. He picked a great one! This car was used for the 1999 Winston all-star race, and it carried the first ‘throwback’ paint scheme, a trend that has become very popular today. The colors were used by RCR for Dale’s first two championships with the team back in the 1980s.”
During the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in 1995, Skinner piloted the black-and-white No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado and dominated the competition. The RCR driver earned eight victories, 17 top fives, 18 top 10s, 10 poles, led 37 percent of the laps run and earned the first series championship. One of the most successful seasons in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, the 1995 RCR No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado has truly earned its place along Glory Road.
“I have some really great memories in that truck,” said Skinner. “We won a lot of races with it. I think my most fond memory of it was when I walked outside my barn, my man cave and here came Danny Lawrence driving it down the street in front of my house. Richard Childress gave me this truck for Christmas about four years ago. It was probably the coolest Christmas present I ever had … It’s an honor to have this truck go into the Hall.”
For RCR and Dale Earnhardt, the NASCAR All-Star Race was a chance to have fun, race hard and show off some unique paint schemes. In 1995, Earnhardt became the first driver to run a special paint scheme in the exhibition event when RCR transformed his iconic No. 3 Chevrolet from its traditional black-and-white to silver.
For the 1999 running of the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, RCR brought back the blue-and-yellow Wrangler colors, the first ‘throwback’ scheme in NASCAR. Earnhardt started fifth, led two laps and finished fourth that night.
These two vehicles are truly icons of the sport and are just two examples of why team owner Richard Childress belongs in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.