The Richard Childress Racing Museum located in Welcome, North Carolina may contain the largest collection of Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 Chevrolets, but it is home to a wide variety of items and artifacts from the organization’s nearly 50-year history.
Each week during the 2018 season, we will celebrate Throwback Thursday by featuring an item in the newly redesigned Richard Childress Racing Museum by showcasing its story and unique history to the famed organization.
When Richard Childress was first exposed to racing as a child, selling peanuts and popcorn at the famed Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, North Carolina, little did he know that on Jan. 20, 2017 he would be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as one of the sport’s best.
Yet nearly 50 years after making his first start at Talladega Superspeedway, Childress was standing on the stage of the Charlotte Convention Center being inducted into the sport’s most prestigious shrine by his grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon.
“Only in America could a kid selling peanuts and popcorn at Bowman Gray Stadium have a dream of becoming a race driver someday,” Childress said on stage that night.
“And then he goes out and buys himself an old ’47 Plymouth, pays $20 for it – that was the best investment I ever made – and have a dream of being a NASCAR driver someday, be standing up here tonight to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Only in America.”
Through all the success and hard work, Childress remained – and remains – humble about his role in the sport and its storied history.
“When Mike Helton called me and told me I was going in the Hall of Fame, I couldn’t believe it because there’s so many people I think deserve it more than me,” he said after giving his NASCAR Hall of Fame induction speech. “But I’m honored to be here tonight and to be in the Hall of Fame with all of these greats. I look on this wall and it gives you chills to think of what all these great drivers and owners and crew chiefs have brought to our sport.”
The Richard Childress Racing Museum and Team Store are home to large posters signed by race fans that have visited over the last year with encouraging words and thank you notes to Childress for all he has done over his Hall of Fame career.
The team store also sells a Richard Childress-themed NASCAR Hall of Fame die-cast car and t-shirt. Inside the museum, which is located in the race shop that housed the organization until 2002, is full of race cars, trophies, photographs and other artifacts that helped build RCR and lead Childress to the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class.