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.
This weekend the final week of the NASCAR Goes West tour heads to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for the fourth event of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
NASCAR has been heading to the two-mile track not far from Hollywood since the 1997 season and RCR has been a factor each event. Across the two series, RCR has a total of three wins, 29 top-five an 61 top-10 finishes.
The first of those victories came in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2007, with Jeff Burton behind the wheel of the No. 29 Chevrolet.
That season, Burton and Scott Wimmer shared driving duties in the No. 29 Chevrolet. Burton scored early back-to-back victories that season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, while the car was a constant factor in the top 10 no matter who was behind the wheel.
When it came to the Sept. 1 race at Auto Club Speedway, Burton was once again tapped to fight for the win in the No. 29 Chevrolet. The veteran driver started the night’s race in the fifth position and battled Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer throughout the event.
This race was marred by a spectacularly hard wreck with Brad Keselowski, A.J. Allmendinger, JJ Yeley and Eric McClure, which saw Keselowski’s car shoot nearly head-on into the wall, lifting into the air on the side of Allmendinger’s car and sliding down the track in a shower of sparks. Each driver was able to walk away.
The racing on the wide, two-mile track was fierce for much of the night. Burton took the lead for the first time on Lap 45 for just one circuit and battled for the top spot with future RCR driver Ryan Newman from Lap 63 to Lap 96.
A restart with 10 laps to go reset the field and put Burton on Busch’s back bumper with fresher tires for the final run to the checkered flag.
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With eight laps to go, Burton dove to the inside of Busch for the lead but had to race side-by-side for more than a lap before securing the top spot. Once out front, Burton was able to drive away over the final six laps of the race to score his third win of the season to that point. It was Burton’s first victory at Auto Club Speedway.
“This feels really good. These guys have been working really hard,” Burton said in Victory Lane. “We brought this new car just for this race, and it really took everybody to get it done. I really appreciate everybody’s effort. This team is just so good. I’m really proud to drive this car.”
In all, Burton earned five wins throughout the 2007 season, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with consistent runs coming from Wimmer as well. Thanks to their impressive performance, the No. 29 team delivered the Xfinity Series owner championship to Richard Childress by 255 points over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team.
The No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet currently sits in the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, North Carolina, with a collage of images from the successful season on the wall behind it.