Childress invested the money from his NASCAR debut at Talladega Superspeedway and purchased a piece of land on Highway 109 in Davidson County, North Carolina, (Childress’ hometown) where he built his first race shop. At a total of 4,000 square feet, the shop served as both a repair shop and race shop all in one.
Childress and Dale Earnhardt got together to discuss their future and the possibility of working together. After driving the first 20 races of the season for another team, Earnhardt jumped behind the wheel of the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet for the final 11 events of the year. During that time, the new combination earned two top-five and six top-10 finishes, but Childress knew he was not yet ready to field the type of equipment Earnhardt was capable of running. Discussing their options at Darlington Raceway in 1981, Childress encouraged Earnhardt to move on from RCR and drive for Bud Moore.
After parting ways with Earnhardt, Childress put together a deal with Piedmont Airlines and Ricky Rudd for the 1982 and 1983 seasons, and the team immediately found success. Rudd earned two poles during the 1982 season and four during 1983, including the Daytona 500.
Richard Childress Racing’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory came on June 5, 1983 at Riverside International Raceway in California. Starting fourth, Rudd led 57 of the 95 laps en route to his first win as a driver and Childress’ first win as an owner. Rudd would later win a second time that season.
Still only a one-car race team, Childress and Earnhardt won the NASCAR Winston Cup championship; the first of six Cup Series championships RCR went on to win.
RCR dominated the 1987 season winning 11 of 29 races and securing its second consecutive Winston Cup Series championship.
Key sponsorship from CRC Chemicals, Kansas Jack and Wrangler Jeans were critical to RCR’s success in its early years as a race team. But in 1988, RCR got a big boost by signing GM Goodwrench as a primary sponsor of the No. 3 Chevrolet. This is when the legendary black car was first painted and made its name in the sport.
RCR would go on to win championships again in 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1994 with Earnhardt. Earnhardt won 24 times in throughout those 4 seasons.
RCR was growing as an organization. In 1997, the team added a second full-time Cup Series car with Skinner who was promoted from the NASCAR Truck Series. Skinner went on to drive for RCR in the top series from 1997 to 2001. With sponsorship from GM Goodwrench, Childress hired Mike Skinner to drive the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado during the 1995 NASCAR Truck Series inaugural season, winning a series-high eight victories and taking home the first-ever driver championship. Earnhardt, the defending Series champion, kept adding to his Hall of Fame resume. He won the Brickyard 400, the second-ever stock car race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt delivered Childress his first of two Daytona 500 championships, leading over half of the 200 laps. Pictured with Earnhardt in victory lane are young Austin and Ty Dillon, Richard’s grandsons.
Dale Earnhardt wins on October 15, 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway. It would be 17 years until the No. 3 car would return to victory lane. Kevin Harvick joined the RCR family in 2000 to drive full time in the Busch Series. Kevin Harvick won the 2001 Busch Series championship, Childress became the first team owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series.
Clint Bowyer joined the RCR stable in the Busch Series. He won one pole at Talladega and seven top 10 finishes after only running half of the 34 races that season.
In 2006, Harvick won another Busch Series championship. RCR won 12 Xfinity Series and 6 Cup Series races in total that year. In his fourth season with RCR, Clint Bowyer added another tally to Childress' championships in the Busch Series.
Eldest grandson, Austin Dillon, won the Truck Series Championship while his younger brother, Ty, won the ARCA Series Championship that same year. During the same season, Clint Bowyer would go on to clinch RCR’s 100th win as an organization.
Austin Dillon won the Xfinity Series Championship and is named rookie of the year. Tony Stewart won the Daytona season open in the Nationwide Series, driving the No. 33 car. Kevin Harvick also clinched the Coca-Cola 600 this year.
The No. 3 made its way back into the NASCAR Cup Series after 13 years. Austin Dillon piloted the legendary number and clinched a pole at Daytona the first time back on track in the top series. Austin’s brother, Ty Dillon, clinched is first truck win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the No. 3 truck
Austin Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the first win for the No. 3 since made its way back on track in the Cup Series.
Austin Dillon won the 65th Daytona 500, making it the third 500 win for the RCR organization. Dillon’s 500 win marked exactly 20 years since Dale Earnhardt had won.
Tyler Reddick won his second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship after leading 84 laps at Homestead-Miami. This brought RCR to a total of five Xfinity Series Championships.
Richard Childress made a historical move and announced that two-time Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch, would drive the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro. Busch is the only active driver in the Cup Series with multiple series championships. With over 220 wins, Busch holds the most all-time NASCAR national series wins and set the all-time single season record in 2010 with 24 victories across all three series.
Austin Hill, driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet, brought home a regular season championship title in the Xfinity Series, after racing only two-full seasons in the series under the RCR banner.