Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 Wheaties Chevrolet on Display at Food Lion AutoFair
A pair of iconic No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars driven by seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt will be part of a special Richard Childress Racing display during the April 19-22 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Charlotte was Earnhardt’s home race track and the native of nearby Kannapolis made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at the legendary ribbon of asphalt on May 25, 1975. It was also the site of some of his most memorable moments, many of which came in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race.
“We both really looked forward to that race because it was short, paid a huge purse to win it and we didn’t have to worry about getting in trouble or be worried about the championship,” said team owner Richard Childress. “He loved that kind of racing and would always get excited when it was time to go to Charlotte for that race.”
In celebration of Earnhardt’s passion for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Childress is allowing the No. 3 Wheaties Chevrolet Earnhardt wheeled in the 1997 race to be displayed at Food Lion AutoFair. This will be one of the rare occasions when the car has been shown outside of the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, N.C.
While Earnhardt didn’t drive the Wheaties car to victory lane 15 years ago – he finished fourth behind winner Jeff Gordon; the presence of such an iconic brand played a significant role in the on-going efforts to broaden the marketing appeal of NASCAR racing.
The orange No. 3 Wheaties Chevrolet will be on display in the Food Lion AutoFair’s Showcase Pavilion alongside one of the traditional black No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolets Earnhardt drove during his final full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing in 2000.
Fans of Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing will also have the opportunity share memories and talk racing with longtime RCR crew member Danny “Chocolate” Myers. The legendary gas man, who now serves as curator of the Richard Childress Racing Museum, will greet fans and sign autographs at the RCR display Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.
In addition to the No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlos, the RCR display will include a pair of limited-edition 2011 RCR Street Performance Camaros. The RC1 version is powered by a 500-horsepower, 6.2-liter engine while the RC3 edition has a massive 750-horsepower, 454-cubic-inch powerplant under its hood.
Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 100,000 visitors, features nearly 50 car club displays and offers a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia for sale or trade. There’s also a collector car auction conducted by Dealer Auctions Inc. and more than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
The world’s largest automotive extravaganza is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Adult tickets are just $10 at the gate and kids 13 and under get in free.
For tickets or additional information about Food Lion AutoFair or other events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, call 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. Follow Charlotte Motor Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cltmotorspdwy.