Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

Posted on: November 19, 2011 2:30 pm
By Pete Pistone

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - If Richard Childress decides to take the iconic No. 3 back to the Sprint Cup Series in the future he has Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s blessing.

Earnhardt said in his media session Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway he has no problem with his father's famous number being used again some day in NASCAR's top series.

Childress has used the No. 3 with his grandson Austin Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series and plans to move it with him to the Nationwide Series in 2012. Earnhardt said if the next evolution was to follow Dillon into the Sprint Cup Series he would support the idea.

"Yeah, I would," Earnhardt said. "Austin has ran that number and I’m not real sure; I just look at it differently. I don’t look at the numbers tied to drivers as much as just the history of the number. The number is more of a bank, you know, that you just deposit history into.

"It doesn’t really belong to any individual. Austin’s ran that number and you can’t really deny him the opportunity to continue to run it. It just wouldn’t be fair. Dad (Dale Earnhardt Sr.) did great things. He was a great ambassador for the sport and we’re still as a whole, reaping the benefits of all he accomplished and what he did that put us in front of a lot of people. But even before that, the number was Richard’s. Richard drove it. And someone else drove it before then. There’s a lot of guys in the fifties and sixties that ran that number with success. So the number is really kind of like a bank and you deposit history into and they don’t really belong to the individuals."

As far as Earnhardt is concerned the digit itself really doesn't carry with it the sense of history or memories he shares from the days of his father campaigning the No. 3. Junior believes there's a lot more to it than just a simple number being back on the track.

"It’s iconic when you put the colors and the style with it; it’s a little bit iconic to the sport," Earnhardt said. "Austin is a good kid, He seems to have a great appreciation for what’s happening to him and what’s going on around him. And I would be happy if he wanted to keep doing that. He kind of had to know when he first started to run that number if he got this far into the deal, he would have to cross a few bridges like that and that was a tough decision I guess at first to start running the number for him; knowing what kind of pressures he might face down the road. But I think it would be fine by me for him to do that. I think that it’s got to get back on the race track one of these days. It just can’t be gone forever you know?”

More NASCAR coverage
Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:52 pm

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

  I think fans need to look at it this way when it comes to the use of the #3. Look at Richard Petty's #43. Richard Petty drove that car number for 35 years straight in NASCAR, WON THE MOST CHAMPIONSHIPS, MOST WINS, MOST POLE POSITIONS, MOST TOP 5's & TOP 10's and more importantly set a standard off the track on how the drivers should treat and care about the fans. Even after having done all this NASCAR never mentioned the topic of retiring the #43. Richard Petty has done more for NASCAR than anyone else in history, PERIOD !! Yet here we are today with the #43 still on the track every Sunday. Richard Has been retired for 20 years now and it won't be long till Earnhardt Sr. will have been gone for that amount of time as well. It will get to a point where he is nothing, but a distant memory just like it has happened to Richard Petty. The most important thing is that you have your memories of your heroes and that is something nobody can ever take away...not even FATHER TIME !!!

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:56 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

The #3 is more the Legacy of CHILDRESS than it is of Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt made himself a household name for what he did on the track driving the "Childress 3", but it was Childress who made the #3.

The fact is when people see the Iconic #3, one name comes to most peoples mind...Earnhardt. When you see the #3 Flags flying at the campgrounds and the races, it's for Earnhardt, not Childress.

I for one can't wait to see the #3 back on the track. I loved seeing it in the Trucks, can't wait to see it in the Nationwide Series, and look forward to the Day Dillon put's iot on the track in the Cup series.

I think it's better to put it out there, than to hide it away as though it doesn't exist.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:15 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

 All you Earnhardt fans can take it the way you see it or not, but the number 3 belongs to Childress and you can all make your SORRY EXCUSES as to why not to run the number all you want, but will never change the fact that the #3 will return, we all knew that it would.
What fans are making "SORRY EXCUSES"? I think alot of Sr. fans don't have a problem with the #3 returning to the track. I agree with your assessment that Childress has a legacy associated with the 3, but don't just dismiss what the Earnhardt contributed to the number. I think it is a shared Legacy, and when Austin Dillon comes up to the Cup level, I don't have a problem with him driving a car with the #3 on it. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:12 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

Jit, I wasn't talking about fans in general, my comments were directed specifically toward mikey who always says he doesn't hate Jr. but his comments seem to indicate otherwise. 

As far as whether Jr. would have a ride if his name wasn't Earnhardt I think you are wrong. He has 18 wins at the Cup level and is a 2 time Busch champion. Michael Waltrip had a very long career before he even won a single race. His name does help him, but I don't think it is the only reason he has a ride. 

Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 6:42 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 25, 2007
Posted on: November 21, 2011 7:51 pm

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

It is Childresses to do with as he pleases. I thought it showed class and respect for the Earnhardt family that he ran it by them. The number has been retired for 10 years now. Time to run it back out there and it seems pretty appropriate that if it was not an Earnhardt driving it, a Childress fits in there pretty well.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:47 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

But those that are having a love affair with his son don't see that.

This is EXACTLY why there are articles like this. 

I'm a Jr Fan, and yes I was at one time a DE fan....but I do want to see the #3 on the track, and in black, and in the same iconic style.

But whether you agree with them or not, there are a lot of Dale JR fans, and Sr fans (who aren't Jr fans) that don't want to see the number come back. As far as the JR fans that don't, that's who this article is for.

What Richard Childress does with the 3 should be up to Childress and not anyone else.  In fact I wish an owner would claim the 3 and force Childress to put it on the track or lose it. 

That includes whether or not he wants to inlcude JR, or take into consderation how Jr Feels, or how Jr's fans feel in his decision. This could all be PR generated by Childress to help his grandson be able to take-over the #3, but until he does, he is trying to get the LARGEST FANBASE in NASCAR to accpet it. The first part of that is letting them know JR accepts it.

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:38 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

There is NO WAY #3 rides again ever!! SR. built his legacy inside the 3 and will always be associated with that number, there isnt an American alive (even people that arent fans) that doesnt recognize the 3 as Dale SR. That number should never be on the track again and I dont care about Petty and the 43, I wasnt a fan of NASCAR and didnt watch until I seen Dale SR and was hooked ever since. I can remember the day he passed and how devastated I was. He is a BIG reason the sport is where it is, look around any race and you see him everywhere. To allow his 3 to run again is a disgrace to the legend and knowing how proud SR was and his ego there is no way he would support this.

Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: November 21, 2011 10:07 am

Junior okay with No. 3 return to Sprint Cup

 Dale Jr is driving now only because he is Dale Sr.s boy, any other driver with a record like his over the last 7 years would be fighting to have a ride.

Really?!  Just finished 7th in the Cup standings, ahead of Jeff Gordon.  Dale Earnhardt Jr has 18 Cup wins.  160 top 10 Cup finishes.  He's won the Daytona 500.

 Jr does not have to approve of a dang thing

As the legacy to Dale Earnhardt Sr., he should be consulted out of respect for the Earnhardt family.  Clearly, anyone who says this is not a NASCAR fan and simply want attention.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or