Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing

Company Name = RCR Enterprises, LLC
(d/b/a Richard Childress Racing)

| Owner(s) Name = Richard Childress
Racing Series = Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series
Championships = 6 Sprint Cup
4 Nationwide Series
(2 driver/owner, 2 owner only)
1 Craftsman Truck Series
Car Number(s) = #07, #29, #31, #33 (Sprint Cup)
#2, #29 (Nationwide Series)
Driver(s) = Clint Bowyer (#07-Sprint [2008] , #33 - Sprint [2009] , #2-Nationwide)
Jeff Burton (#31-Sprint, #29-Nationwide)
Kevin Harvick (#29-Sprint)
Casey Mears (2009) (#07-Sprint)
Scott Wimmer, (#29-Nationwide)
Austin Dillon (Development)
Ty Dillon (Development)
Stephen Leicht (Development)
David Mayhew (Development)
Tim McCreadie (Development)
Primary Sponsor(s) = Shell/Pennzoil (#29-Sprint)
AT&T Mobility(2008) Caterpillar Inc.(2009) (#31-Sprint)
Jack Daniel's (#07-Sprint)
General Mills (2009) (#33-Sprint)
BB&T (#2-Nationwide)
Holiday Inn (#29 Nationwide)
Shop Location = Welcome, North Carolina
Homepage = [ Richard Childress Racing]

RCR Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Richard Childress Racing, is a NASCAR team fielding Chevrolets for Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the #2 BB&T Chevy for Clint Bowyer and the #29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevy for Burton and Scott Wimmer in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It is owned and operated by former driver now businessman Richard Childress. Childress has expanded his interests into the food industry, recently coming out with his own brand of wine and sausages. RCR has fielded cars for legends such as Dale Earnhardt, Ricky Rudd, and Neil Bonnett. RCR has had at least one car in every cup race since late 1972, the longest such active streak.

print Cup

Car #29 History

RCR debuted at the 1969 Talladega 500 as a 1968 Chevy numbered 13. Childress himself drove the car, finishing 23rd after suffering axle problems. In 1972, the team came back to run fourteen races with Childress driving again, but didn't go fulltime until 1976 when he would begin using the #3. Childress earned eleven top-10 finishes and finished eleventh in points that year. Over the next few years, he posted many top-10s and twice was among the highest top 10 points earners, but he never was in serious contention to win. In 1981, he decided to end his career before the season ended, and handed his #3 ride to the defending Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt, who brought his Wrangler sponsorship with him.

After posting six-top tens, Earnhardt went elsewhere, and Ricky Rudd took his place for the 1982 season, with Piedmont Airlines becoming the sponsor. Rudd drove the car for both 1982 and 1983 finishing 9th in points both years, and winning twice the latter. But after the season was over, Rudd was replaced by none other than Earnhardt himself, with Wrangler back as sponsor (in perhaps an odd twist of fate, Rudd moved to Earnhardt's old ride, the #15 Bud Moore Engineering Wrangler-sponsored Ford Thunderbird, which actually kept its sponsorship despite Earnhardt leaving). This time, Earnhardt was back for good, winning six championships over the next two decades, with crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine and Andy Petree, and Goodwrench replacing Wrangler as sponsor after 1987. During the latter part of the 90's Earnhardt's performance began to slow down, and went through 1997 without a single victory. In 1998, he won the Daytona 500 after 20 starts, all ending in losses. The next year, he was able to capture wins at Talladega, as well as cause more controversy, after he spun Terry Labonte to win on the last lap at Bristol Motor Speedway. In 2000, he looked like he was finally regaining his old form, winning twice and finishing runner-up to Bobby Labonte in points, and his many fans hoped he was gearing up for his record-breaking eighth championship. Sadly, this was not to be. On February 18, 2001, on the last lap of the Daytona 500, Earnhardt was tagged from behind and crashed head-on into the turn 4 wall. He did not survive. NASCAR was numb with grief. Deciding to carry on, Childress changed the number of the car to 29, changed the paint scheme from black to white, and chose his Busch Series driver Kevin Harvick to drive the car.

After three races Harvick beat out Jeff Gordon by mere inches to win the Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, dedicating the win to Earnhardt. After posting another win at Chicagoland Speedway, Harvick won NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors. In 2002, Harvick's infamous temper escalated after announcing on his radio he would intentionally wreck another racer during a Craftsman Truck race. In response, NASCAR benched Harvick for the next race, and was replaced during that time by Kenny Wallace. Since then, Harvick has won eight races, including the Prestigious Brickyard 400 and Daytona 500 while scoring a (at the time)career-best points effort of 4th in 2006. Despite a win early in the season, Back-to-back seasons of missing "The Chase for the Nextel Cup" with 14th-place efforts proved to be frustrating, as Harvick threatened to leave the team if performance did not improve. A series of strong runs near the end of 2005 seemed to satisfy him, however, and he was be back in the car in 2006 with Reese's as a new co-primary sponsor. After a somewhat slow start, Harvick hit his stride in April, with a string of Top 10 finishes, including a win at Phoenix. He eventually made the chase and led the standings for the first time in the first week of the chase. This helped RCR to be a dominate force in NASCAR again. After weeks of speculation as to where Kevin would drive starting in 2007, he and RCR announced a new three-year deal, with Kevin driving for Childress until 2009.

For 2007 the team will have two alternating sponsors: lead primary sponsor Royal Dutch Shell, and for selected races associate sponsors Hershey's.

hell Sponsorship Controversy

Following the 2007 Daytona 500 win, Harvick's winning car infuriated NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco. The car's large Shell logos on the car and team uniforms violated NASCAR's ban on fuel sponsorships, in the opinion of Sunoco, which has exclusive fuel rights. The Shell logo has since shrunk on the car, while the Shell name remains on the side of the car and its Pennzoil brand appears more.

Car #07 History

What is now the #07 car was originally slated to be driven by Kevin Harvick. However, Harvick was put in the #29 after Dale Earnhardt's death, and team selected Jeff Green to be the driver instead. Originally the #30 America Online Chevy, the car debuted at that season's race at California Speedway, finishing 21st. Running six more races that year, the car won a pole position with Green at the Sharpie 500. The team went full time the following year, and Green posted six top-tens and finished seventeenth in points. Green won the pole at the following year's Daytona 500, but the chemistry was dying, and he was replaced by Steve Park after Richmond. Park's performance was average, and he was not re-signed. In 2004, Childress promoted Johnny Sauter to the ride, hoping he would work like Harvick. Sauter was released just 13 races into the season. After that, Dave Blaney drove the car, only skipping Infineon Raceway when Jim Inglebright took the wheel. A couple of weeks after it was announced Blaney would be in the car for rest of the year, Jeff Burton became available, and Childress knew he was too good to pass up, leaving Blaney out in the cold. Burton drove the car for the rest of the year, and when Robby Gordon left to start his own team, Burton moved to his old ride at Car 31. With AOL leaving as sponsor, Childress had two voids left to fill. He decided to rehire Blaney, and signed Jack Daniel's to sponsor the car, marking one of the first hard liquor sponsorships in NASCAR's history. The team also changed it's number to 07 to commemorate JD's slogan "Ol' No. 7". Blaney posted just 2 top ten finishes during 2005, finishing 26th in the standings. As a result, Blaney moved to the #22 Bill Davis Racing CAT Dodge in 2006, and Clint Bowyer now drives the #07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet for RCR. Bowyer not only put the 07 solidly in the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, but also took the first win for this team at the Sylvania 300 at Loudon.

On August 23rd, 2008, Casey Mears was announced as the driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet Impala SS for the 2009 season. Clint Bowyer will drive RCR's #33 car.

Car #31 History

For over a decade, Car 31 was Childress' R&D car. It debuted in 1988 at the fall event at North Carolina Speedway, as #22 and Rodney Combs driving, finishing dead last. Ironically, when Bill Elliott's backup car failed during practice for the pit crew championship, Elliott drove that backup car for his #9 team to do the competition pit stop. The car wasn't seen again until 1993, as #31 and Earnhardt's longtime friend Neil Bonnett driving at Talladega Superspeedway. In this race, Bonnett, already on a comeback, was involved in a horrifying accident, but made it out okay. After driving another race that year for RCR, Bonnett died testing Phoenix Racing's #51 Country Time Lemonade car for the 1994 Daytona 500.

In 1996, the car returned with defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner driving with Realtree sponsoring the car in four of the five races it ran. Skinner had three-top starts that year, including one on the outside pole. The team finally ran full-time in 1997, with Skinner driving and Lowe's as the sponsor. Skinner won the pole position for both of the races at Daytona, and defeated what has turned out to be a very scant field of drivers for rookie of the year. He suffered some injuries in 1998, and Morgan Shepherd and Childress' son-in-law Mike Dillon filled in for him. Teamed with crew chief Larry McReynolds, 1999 was his best season ever, winning the pole position twice, and finished tenth in points after being the championship leader at one point earlier in the year. However, Skinner was never able to win a points-paying race, although he won two exhibition races in Japan, at Suzuka and Twin Ring Motegi, respectively, as well as some other non-point events. In 2001, he suffered injuries in the opening laps at the inaugural race at Chicagoland. Robby Gordon filled in for him, and struggled heavily, failing to post any top-10 finishes. Skinner returned at Bristol, but he just wasn't the same, and Gordon took his place for him. Late in 2001, it was announced Gordon would drive the car the next year, to the puzzlement of many. Gordon was engaged in a closing-laps battle later in the year with Jeff Gordon to win the season finale at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Armed with a big surge of momentum and a new sponsor in Cingular had five top-ten finishes and finished 20th in points the following year. 2003 was even better, as he swept both road course events and improved four spots in points. After his performance dipped down in 2004, Gordon decided to leave and start his own #7 team, and Jeff Burton was tabbed his replacement. Burton had 3 top 5 and 6 top 10 finishes in 2005, finishing 18th in points.

2006 was year of great success throughout the RCR organization. Burton finished seventh in the 2006 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. He has also won four poles and got his first win in 175 races at Dover. Due to AT&T's merger with BellSouth and the combined company's initiating the elimination of the Cingular brand, sponsorship for this car is in doubt because of the prohibition of new wireless telephone provider sponsorships in Nextel Cup. The change of names would apparently constitute a new sponsorship. A report in the Boston Globe blog noted German industrial giant Osram GmbH, a longtime sponsor at RCR (which was an alternating primary sponsor on the #07 in 2006), would become the main primary sponsor, with Lenox Industrial Tools and AstraZeneca's Prilosec OTC becoming the other alternating sponsors, but this was later denied as Cingular/AT&T intends to remain with the team through 2007. Burton, however, won the Samsung 500 with the AstraZeneca sponsorship (purple car).

AT&T's sponsorship lawsuit

AT&T has repeatedly requested that NASCAR allow them to advertise the AT&T Mobility brand on the #31 car, but NASCAR refuses to allow it, citing the Sprint Nextel contract. After trying and failing to get NASCAR to approve the addition of the globe logo to the rear of the car, AT&T filed a lawsuit against NASCAR on March 16, 2007. [ [ RCR Wireless News: First with carrier, distributor, network, handset and mobile content news ] ] [] On May 18, a federal judge ruled that AT&T should be allowed to replace the Cingular logos with AT&T logos, and said that AT&T was likely to win the lawsuit. [] The AT&T logo ran on the #31 at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge on May 19 and so far ever since then until NASCAR ordered the sponsorship off before the 2007 Sharpie 500. A settlement before the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 was made where AT&T Mobility could sponsor the car until the end of 2008; AT&T could remain in the Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series, as AT&T sponsors a Nationwide race at The Milwaukee Mile.

Lenox Industrial Tools and AstraZeneca's Prilosec OTC remain as co-primary sponsors. In June 2008 Caterpillar announced that it would leave the #22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota to sponsor the #31 starting in 2009.

Car #33 History

What is now the #33 car started as the #90 car in 2003. RCR entered the #90 Chevrolet at the fall Talladega race with John Andretti driving. The car was sponsored by AOL 9.0, and the car was numbered 90 for marketing purposes. In 2004, it was announced that Kerry Earnhardt would drive a #33 Richard Childress Racing Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in 5 NASCAR Nextel Cup events in 2004. Mike Skinner would run the first race in the car at the Daytona 500, finishing 22nd. Kerry Earnhardt drove the car in the other three restrictor plate races with Bass Pro Shops sponsoring, his best finish being 24th. Earnhardt attempted all of the restrictor plate races again in 2005, finishing 17th at Talladega. In addition, road course ringer Brian Simo brought home a 10th-place finish at Infineon Raceway. Clint Bowyer, Childress' Busch Series driver in the Busch Series, made his Nextel Cup debut in this car with Sylvania sponsorship at Phoenix in April 2005.

RCR will expand to 4 full time Sprint Cup teams in 2009 with sponsorship from General Mills' Cheerios and Hamburger Helper brands on the #33 Chevrolet. ESPN has reported that Bobby Labonte who was rumored to be moving to RCR after the 2008 season has agreed to a contract extension with Petty Enterprises.

On May 2, 2008, The team attempted and failed to qualify for the 2008 Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond, with Nationwide Series Driver Scott Wimmer on board, and the Holiday Inn Sponsorship.

On August 23rd, 2008, RCR driver Clint Bowyer was announced as the driver of the #33 General Mills Chevrolet Impala SS for the 2009 season. Casey Mears will take over Bowyer's previous car, the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet Impala SS.

Nationwide Series

Car #2 History

RCR has fielded this entry in the Nationwide Series since the fall North Carolina Speedway race in 1999, moving the entire team from the Craftsman Truck Series. Kevin Harvick was the first driver of the #2 AC Delco Chevy, winning three races and winning Rookie of the Year, despite missing the spring race at North Carolina Speedway. He went on to win the championship in the Busch Series in 2001 while running full time in Winston Cup as well. In 2002, rookie driver Johnny Sauter won at Chicagoland, and finished 14th in points. The next year, Ron Hornaday drove the car full-time, winning once and posting a third place finish in points. Hornaday followed up that performance with another win and a drop to 4th in points the following year. In 2005, Clint Bowyer took the reins, in a program headed up by veteran crew chief Gil Martin, winning at Nashville Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park, finishing second in points. Bowyer was back in the #2 car in 2006 with crew chief Dan Deeringhoff, while Martin moved up to run the 07 Jack Daniels program. Bowyer ran the full Nextel Cup schedule for RCR in the #07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet, also running the full BGN season with the #2 car where he finished 3rd in points. 2006 was the final year for AC Delco, as the 2007 sponsor for the #2 will be BB&T. Bowyer will run about 17 races in the #2 for the 2007 season and he will run full-time in 2008 season. Kenny Wallace drove for the team in a one-race deal at Gateway International Raceway, sponsored by sandwich chain Jimmy John's.

Car #21 History

The 21 car also debuted in 2000, with Rockwell Automation as the sponsor and Childress' son-in-law Mike Dillon driving. Dillon posted two top 10 finishes and finished 23rd in points that year. Six races into 2001, Dillon was injured at Bristol Motor Speedway, and it was announced at the time he would be out for the rest of the year. Since then, he has taken on other roles with the team. His replacement was Mike Skinner, but after his injury, Jeff Purvis took over briefly, winning at Pikes Peak, before Skinner returned. After Skinner's release, Robby Gordon had the driving duties for the balance of the season. The next year, Jeff Green and Jay Sauter drove the car. In 2003, Harvick returned to the car, driving all races he could afford to in the #21 PayDay Chevy, while Johnny Sauter took over on the weeks Harvick was unable to race, winning the owner's championship and causing the first ever owner and championship team split in Busch Series history. Harvick has been the anchor driver ever since, with Clint Bowyer doing the co-driving honors in 2004 and Brandon Miller in 2005 and sponsorship from Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Jeff Burton drove the car at Bristol in 2005. In 2006, Harvick and Jeff Burton split the driving duties in the car with United States Coast Guard sponsorship. Burton won at Atlanta, and Harvick won three more races, pulling out to an over 700-point lead in the points standings with 5 races to go in the 2006 season. AutoZone replaced the Coast Guard sponsorship in 2007, and Harvick drove along with development driver Timothy Peters, until Peters was replaced by Sprint car driver Tim McCreadie. Beginning in 2008 Bobby Labonte will drive the 21 car for 15 races of the season. [ [ RaceGear - News - Bobby Labonte to drive No. 21 Nationwide car for Childress ] ] In May 2008, the team shut down due to financial problems but returned at the Emerson Radio 250 to debut Austin Dillon, son of former driver Mike Dillon and grandson to Richard Childress.

Car #29 History

The 29 car was first run by Johnny Sauter in 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway as a thank you from Richard Childress (because Johnny shared the 21 car with Kevin Harvick in 2003 and they won the owners championship).

The 29 car appeared in 2005 at Bristol Motor Speedway as part of a promotion for Reese's Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lovers Cups. The promotion involved the 29 painted as the Chocolate Lovers car and the 21 painted as the Peanut Butter Lovers car. The plan was for Jeff Burton to drive the 29 while Kevin Harvick would drive the 21. Qualifying was rained out, so the entries were switched to assure that both cars would make the field (Harvick was a past champion and the #29 was not locked in). Burton drove the 21 while Harvick drove the 29. Harvick won the race in this car with Burton finishing second in the 21. Later in the season, Mayflower Transit sponsored this car in at least one race run by Jeff Burton.

On March 17, 2006, Holiday Inn announced its sponsorship of the 29 for ten races with Burton returning as its driver. The new car made its 2006 debut at Richmond. Burton finished in the top ten all four times the car raced in 2006, including a win at Dover in June.

In 2007, the 29 will go full time, with Scott Wimmer and Jeff Burton sharing the racing duties. Wimmer has shown the potential for victory with this car, including many top 5 finishes. Burton has driven to victory lane in this car four times throughout the season, those coming at Vegas, Atlanta, Fontana, and Charlotte. The team had to just start the race to win the owner's championship, they did that and won the race at Homestead

On August 21, 2008, Scott Wimmer announced he will not drive the 29 car for the 2009 season, as RCR has other plans. [ [ Wimmer looking for work] ]

Craftsman Truck Series

In the infant years of the CTS, RCR fielded its own truck team, always the #3 Goodwrench Chevy. Mike Skinner, drove the truck the initial two years, winning the series first championship in 1995 along with 16 races. After he left, Jay Sauter hopped on board, winning four times and finishing in the top 10 in points all three years. After 1999, Childress moved the program up the NASCAR Busch Series. The team is now the #2 Busch car.


* [ Racing Reference]


External links

* [ Official Website for Richard Childress Racing]

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