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Austin Dillon Puts The “3” On The Poll At Daytona – Exactly Why That Number Should NOT Be Retired

16 Feb

From tragic to magic.

In a blink of an eye, or over a decade plus depending on how you view it, the number 3 is back at Daytona. Back where it belongs. On a racetrack. Going fast.

When Austin Dillon took the poll today driving that iconic number it showed exactly why I thought it was the right time and the right man to bring the number back. I’m not talking about Dillon. I’m talking about Richard Childress.

(Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

Thanks, Pop-Pop

Richard Childress knows in his heart of heats the right and honorable thing to do when it comes to honoring Dale Earnhardt. Before Earnhardt made the #3 his own, piddly little drivers like Junior Johnson and Buddy Baker and Cotton Owens put their stamp on it. Earnhardt added to it. Just like Dillon now gets that chance.

The saga of the number 3 is well documented and we don’t need to recount it here. It has become an emotionally charged topic in NASCAR for many fans. In a sport where we don’t have jerseys to retire or teams to do the honor really, this became a hot-button topic for fans wishing to honor Dale Earnhardt any and all ways possible. At first I bought into the idea of retiring the number. I didn’t like the fact the #43 was still out there, but I got it from a family stand-point.

As the years have gone by though I realized the best way to honor someone is to make their legacy prominent and permanent. Instead of sticking a jersey in the rafters, put it on the back of a player who deserves to carry on in the tradition of the folks who made it famous. Instead of relegating the “3” to specials on Fox Sports 1 and Dave Despain documentaries ( God, I love those ) put it on the track!

Let dads and moms explain to their kids why the number matters so much. Let that number continue to be a special part of the Childress family. Let that number be even more significant now than before Earnhardt.

Ya. That’s right. The number “3” will only grow in stature and meaning if Austin Dillon is the kind of driver and man we think he just may be. I’m not talking wins here either.

The fans of Dale Earnhardt need to embrace the idea that Dale was part of the sport, not the sport. He helped it grow he didn’t start it. Dale Earnhardt benefited just as much from what went before him as Austin Dillon will by carrying the massive weight of that little number.

So, is it time for the “3” to be back in NASCAR? Damn right. It is past time.

Let that number go fast again!

Hyatt

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Auto Racing, NASCAR

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Austin Dillon Puts The “3” On The Poll At Daytona – Exactly Why That Number Should NOT Be Retired

  1. Trixie

    February 18, 2014 at 9:35 am

    It is time. Richard Childress has been very respectful throughout this process. Having another driver doesn’t diminish the legacy of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Austin Dillon is the right driver at the right time. He knows the importance of the number to NASCAR. He too has been very respectful throughout all of this. I for one am ready to see that #3 back on the track and yes, even it means he beats the #14, in victory lane. It’s time to embrace a new chapter in the #3!

     
  2. Rolando

    February 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Just another spoiled rich kid who would not be in the position he is in if it weren’t for his grandfather. A midget in a black cowboy hat is an embarrassing substitute for Dale Ernhardt. He should not have been allowed to bring back the number 3 to Nascar.

     

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