Long before he became one of the preeminent car owners in NASCAR history, Richard Childress was a race car driver with limited means. Still, he persevered, which is what you do when you purchase your first car for $20 at the age of 17.
- Inducted: 2017
An All-American Success Story
Richard Childress, the consummate self-made racer, was respectable behind the wheel. Between 1969 and 1981, he had six top-five finishes and 76 top 10s.
Having formed Richard Childress Racing in 1972, Childress retired from driving in 1981. The rest, as they say, is history. Much of that history is linked to one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers, inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010), who won six championships and 67 races between 1984 and 2000 for RCR. But Childress has had other successes. Childress was the first NASCAR owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR’s national series, and his 14 titles are second all time. Childress was the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence in 1986.
Richard Childress kneels in front of his CRC Chemicals No. 3 Oldsmobile at the start of the 1980 season. As a driver, he compiles 285 starts and 76 top-10 finishes. Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images.
Richard Childress and fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt celebrate in Victory Lane after the 1998 Daytona 500. Photo by David Taylor/Getty Images.
Richard Childress stands with his grandsons Austin Dillion (L) and Ty Dillon (C) after Austin wins the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway in 2013. Courtesy Richard Childress Racing.