Childress to Drive No. 3 "Victory Lap" Chevrolet
In what promises to be one of the most memorable moments of the ¿Victory Lap¿ tribute program recently detailed by NASCAR, Childress will drive the No. 3 during pre-race festivities for Lowe¿s Motor Speedway¿s UAW-GM Quality 500 on Saturday night, Oct. 11.
The ¿Victory Lap¿ tribute will recognize drivers who captured a NASCAR Winston Cup championship during R.J. Reynolds¿ 33-year sponsorship tenure. The tribute will take place at designated tracks, including Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, throughout the remainder of the season, Winston¿s last as title sponsor of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
Offering a fitting tribute to Winston, the Lowe¿s Motor Speedway portion of the ¿Victory Lap¿ tribute will mark the first on-track appearance of the No. 3 car since the death of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500.
The special No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo unveiled by Childress features the legendary Earnhardt black along the bottom with silver dominating the hood, roof and rear deck lid. The ¿Victory Lap¿ logo, honoring Winston, appears several places on the car.
¿It¿s an honor for us to put the No. 3 Chevrolet in the pre-race lap because Richard Childress Racing won six NASCAR Winston Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt in this car and R.J. Reynolds was right there with us the whole time,¿ said Childress. ¿It was really special to spend that time with them and now we¿re trying to repay them just a bit for what they¿ve done for us. I wish Dale was here today to drive the car in the parade lap because Winston meant so much to him as well.¿
Earnhardt won five NASCAR Winston Cup Series events at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway and was the first three-time winner of The Winston, NASCAR¿s annual all-star race.
Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon will represent ¿active¿ NASCAR Winston Cup champions in the UAW-GM Quality 500 ¿Victory Lap.¿ He will drive a specially painted No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet alongside Childress and the No. 3 during a pre-race parade lap.
Gordon earned his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600. He also won back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s in ¿97 and ¿98 and topped the UAW-GM Quality 500 in 1999. He joined Earnhardt as the only three-time winner of The Winston in 2001.
¿It¿s a real honor to participate in a tribute to R.J. Reynolds and to say thanks for all they have done for our sport,¿ said Gordon. ¿Joining Richard on track with the No. 3 car makes our portion of the ¿Victory Lap¿ very special to me personally.¿
H.A. ¿Humpy¿ Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, is looking forward to hosting this special ¿Victory Lap¿ tribute during the inaugural night running of the UAW-GM Quality 500.
¿It is appropriate Richard will pay tribute to Winston on behalf of Dale and himself here,¿ said Wheeler. ¿We¿re Dale and Richard¿s hometown track, the closest track to R.J. Reynolds¿ headquarters and we¿ll never forget the many highlights Dale provided here in The Winston, Coca-Cola 600 and UAW-GM Quality 500.
¿In addition, Jeff has provided some incredible moments here as well,¿ Wheeler added. ¿I¿ll never forget the heartfelt emotion among him and that young team in victory lane after winning their first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in 1994. And, there¿s The Winston! Jeff and Dale¿s driving styles were made for The Winston! That¿s why they are the only three-time winners of that race.¿
Tickets for the Oct. 11 UAW-GM Quality 500, the inaugural night running of the NASCAR Winston Cup event, are available through the speedway¿s ticket office by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.