Hall of Fame Artifact Stories: Richard’s Signature Chevrolet Hat

Note: This is a collection of stories and images for an eight-part series highlighting Richard Childress’ induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2017. Each of the items will be featured in Childress’ “shadow box” for one year inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

 

If you’ve seen Richard Childress at the race track, it’s likely that you’ve seen him in his signature race track attire – blue Wrangler Jeans with black cowboy boots, a freshly pressed white button-down shirt with the RCR logo on the left chest and his token Chevrolet hat – tan in color with the gold Chevy bowtie stitched across the front.

It may look like normal attire for the Hall of Fame team owner, but it’s actually quite deliberate – especially wearing his Chevy hat.

“I typically get a few Chevy hats at the beginning of each season, but I wear the same one on race day all year long. They have been RCR’s longest tenured partner and I’m honored to wear the Chevy bowtie every weekend.”

What is less apparent is under the bill of the hat are hand-written notes, typically in black ink, that are scribed by Childress after wins, poles and awards from that season. It’s something that Childress has been doing for several years to commemorate the season.

“I just came up with idea of putting wins and poles and special moments on the inside of the hat to create a piece of memorabilia from that particular season. I started doing it in the early 2000s and just stuck with it. I’ve probably got 10 or 12 of them at my house – it’s a reminder of the good times and celebrations.”

Childress’ hat from the 2013 season will be featured in his NASCAR Hall of Fame exhibit – a season special to RCR for many reasons.

“We won at every level that season. Austin won the Nationwide Series championship. We won four Cup races. We had a pretty good season and I think our fans will remember 2013 as a fun year.”

Most of Childress’ Chevrolet hats are beaten and battered; sweat marks, stains and dirt are apparent. The writing on the inside is often smeared. Some hats, like Childress’ hat from 2006 when RCR won a combined 18 races, have little writing room left on the inside.

“I think eventually I’d like to auction all of these hats off for charity. But for now, I wanted it to be in the Hall of Fame for fans to see how one way I remember our wins.”

Stats from 2013 season:

  • One of only three seasons that RCR won in every NASCAR national series (2010, 2012, 2013)
  • Won a total of nine races (4 Cup, 2 NXS, 3 Truck)
  • Nine poles (1 Cup, 7 NXS, 1 Truck)
  • Won the inaugural race at Eldora Speedway
  • Won 2013 Nationwide Series driver championship (Austin Dillon)

Related stories:

Hall of Fame Artifact Stories: 2011 Truck Series Championship

Hall of Fame Artifact Stories: 1995 Brickyard Wreath