Found July 05, 2013 on
DAYTONA BEACH — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was asked what he thought about the iconic No.3 returning to Cup racing in NASCAR.
The No. 3 that was driven by the late Dale Earnhardt has not raced in the Cup series since his death in 2001, a return of the car has been met with mixed reviews from fans.
Earnhardt Jr. said that he thought the return of the No. 3 would be “great.”
“It was an iconic number for my father and it means a lot to a lot of his fans. This sport doesn’t really retire numbers and all the numbers have history tied to them for several different reasons. The #3 is no different.”
Austin Dillion, Richard Childress’ grandson drives the No. 3 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the talk is that the car could move up to Cup with him in 2014.
“I think that for Austin (Dillon) a kid like Austin in this regard any kid that wants to come up through the ranks and he drove the #3 in dirt racing and he drove the #3 in his Truck series and Nationwide series. He has earned the right to run that number as long as he wants. It could have been any kid coming up through the ranks that had ran that number and that’s his number. Maybe he’s not even an Earnhardt fan maybe that is just his number.”
Earnhardt Jr. said that it would not be right to deny somebody the opportunity to drive the No. 3 just because it was his fathers number. “I’m okay with it. I know that might not be the way a lot of people feel or some people feel, but I’m sure it’s the minority that feels that way. I think that a lot of people will be telling Austin positive things about it.”
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Doubtless, there are race fans who believe the return of the No. 3 to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would amount to heresy.
Though Dale Earnhardt Jr. recognizes that naysayers will decry the revival of the 3, he has a different point of view about the car number closely associated with his late father, Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time series champion.
I'm calling ******** on Dale Earnhardt Jr being OK with the #3 returning to the Sprint Cup Series.
My personal belief is that he is simply saying what is politically correct. It would be very unsupportive of longtime family friend Richard Childress to say anything else.
But deep down, I believe he wants that number retired like many #3 fans do.
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Itâs very likely that when Austin Dillon graduates
full time to the Sprint Cup Series he will campaign in the No 3
Chevy. And Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems perfectly cool with that.