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Talladega Superspeedway: The Heart of Richard Childress Racing


"The Intimidator is scraped and beaten on the right side. He will not be denied. Mister restrictor plate knows there are two laps to go," exclaimed Doctor Jerry Punch in the final stages of the 2000 Winston 500 from Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt wheeled the famed No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet from mid-pack to the lead in the final laps to claim his 10th and final win at Talladega Superspeedway, his 76th overall.

Talladega Superspeedway is a special place for Richard Childress Racing for a multitude of reasons. Dale Earnhardt’s famous Winston 500 win being just one of many great memories for the Welcome, North Carolina organization. The relationship between Talladega Superspeedway and Richard Childress goes all the way back to 1969 when Childress got what he considers "one of the biggest breaks of his career."

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 13: Richard Childress drives on track prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 13, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 13: Richard Childress drives on track prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 13, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images

In 1969, Childress’ own racing career began at Talladega when he competed in the inaugural NASCAR Grand National race. The next day, following a boycott by dozens of Cup Series drivers including Richard Petty over safety concerns due to high speeds from the track’s extreme design, Childress was asked by Talladega Superspeedway founder and former NASCAR president Bill France to race in the first Talladega 500. The fearless Childress took the money he earned from that memorable race to purchase a piece of land and open a garage, which ultimately became RCR, one of the most prominent teams in professional racing.

Today, Childress has 180 Cup Series starts with 23 different drivers at Talladega Superspeedway. Those drivers have accounted for 12 wins, 45 top-five, 72 top-ten finishes, and six pole awards at the 2.66-mile Superspeedway.

Childress’ most recent win at Talladega came last year when Tyler Reddick claimed the victory en route to his second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. Reddick will be the 24th Cup Series driver to make a start under the RCR banner this Sunday.

13 October 2019–during the 1000 Bulbs 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL.(HHP/Alan Marler)
13 October 2019–during the 1000 Bulbs 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL.(HHP/Alan Marler)

Last year Childress, alongside long-time friend and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, shared an emotional moment together when they paid tribute to Earnhardt by suiting up and taking the iconic black and red No. 3 Chevrolet around Talladega Superspeedway one final time. The racecar came from the RCR museum, which was still equipped with the same engine Earnhardt used to secure his final victory in 2000 before his tragic passing in 2001.

This weekend, drivers Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, and Anthony Alfredo will look to add to RCR’s historic legacy at Talladega Superspeedway with wins of their own.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Unhinged 300 at Talladega Superspeedway will be televised live Saturday, June 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports One and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway will be televised live Sunday, June 21, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.