Austin Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year, 13 years after Dale Earnhardt -- who made the No. 3 an iconic number in stock car racing -- died in a crash.
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
The No. 3 Chevrolet will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year, 13 years after seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt -- who made the No. 3 an iconic number in stock car racing -- died in a racing crash.
The Richard Childress Racing team announced Austin Dillon would compete in the Cup series with the No. 3 car next year. Earnhardt won six of his seven titles with Childress.
Dillon, 23, is Childress' grandson and this year he won the championship in NASCAR's second-level Nationwide Series. Dillon also won the title in NASCAR's truck series in 2011.
"My grandfather and everyone at RCR have done a great job of not pushing me too quickly into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," Dillon said in a statement. "I am truly grateful and looking forward to this opportunity."
Earnhardt died in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001. Children immediately changed the car number to 29 and Kevin Harvick took over the car.
Harvick left Childress after this season to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing next year. Childress' other two Cup drivers in 2014 will be Paul Menard, who drives the No. 27 car, and Ryan Newman, who takes over the No. 31.
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