This weekend, NASCAR competes at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course for the first time in the modern era. With no practice or qualifying taking place at the 3.56-mile road course, drivers across all series face uncertainty heading into an unpredictable weekend in Daytona Beach.
There is one driver from the RCR stable who has prior experience at the Daytona Road Course in a stock car. That’s right, Richard Childress himself.
“I ran my first race in the Grand Touring cars back in 1969 on the Daytona Road Course”, said Childress. “It was such a great time. That race in Daytona started RCR really. Of course, we went on to run at Talladega, shortly after that.”
RELATED: RCR Heritage
Childress drove his 1968 Camaro to a 13th-place finish in the Citrus 250 at the Daytona Road Course in 1969 in his first appearance at the track. He remained competitive at the track for each of his five appearances there as a driver, racing in the NASCAR Grand Touring Division and NASCAR Grand American Series. Childress finished in the top-10 in three out of the five races, with a best result of eighth in 1970.
“When I ran there, I was at the young age of 23”, said Childress. “I ran the road course, went down there and qualified eighth right outside Lloyd Ruby. Parnelli Jones was in that race and all the great world road racers were there. I finished 13th and think I had three top-10 finishes in four or five races there at the Daytona Road Course.”
Childress’ relationship with the Daytona Road Course expands beyond his five combined starts in the Grand Touring Division and Grand America Series. He also competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona in a Cup Series car.
“Back in the day they were Grand National cars”, described Childress. “James Hylton and I ran the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1976. We finished second in our class and 19th overall in the 24 Hours of Daytona. We have a little history with the road course in Daytona, so I’m really excited for our guys to get there.”
The GoBowling 235 at the Daytona Road Course will be televised live Sunday August 16, beginning at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.