May 25th, 2016
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Committee met today in Charlotte, North Carolina and named team owner Richard Childress to the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class.
Prior to calling Childress’ name, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France described the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class as “the greatest class yet” to be inducted. Childress will be joined by Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Raymond Parks and Benny Parsons.
“He started out as a driver and had a little bit of success, but he had a lot of success as a car owner,” France said of Childress.
“It’s quite an honor. It just hasn’t set in,” Childress said Wednesday. “Just to be in there with the class that I’m in, I’m just thrilled.
“Only in America could a kid with a $20 race car and a dream be here today,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable.”
After his early days with that $20 car, Childress made his first NASCAR start on Sept. 14, 1969 at Talladega Superspeedway. Childress’ driving career spanned 12 years, where he collected six top-five and 76 top-10 finishes in 285 starts, leading a total of 133 laps.
However, Childress’ greatest mark on NASCAR came when he stepped out of the cockpit and focused on the ownership side of his team. Since that first race in 1969, RCR cars have made 4,241 starts across all three of NASCAR’s national touring series, earning 11 driver championships, 212 wins, 989 top-five and 1,922 top-10 finishes. Childress also owned the vehicles driven by NASCAR XFINITY Series driver champions Clint Bowyer (2008) and Austin Dillon (2013), as the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver champion Austin Dillon.
Much of RCR’s success came with inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Earnhardt, who won six Premier Series championships and 67 races between 1984 and 2000.
“I know I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for all the years that we had with Dale Earnhardt and all the championships and the races we won,” said Childress.
Childress was the first owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series. His 11 driver championships titles are second all time.
This was Childress’ eighth year on the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot.