Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing: 2024 Net Worth, Stats, Owners and More

What is Richard Childress Racing?

To say that Richard Childress Racing is a legendary team would be an understatement. The iconic Dale Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick's former team, RCR is stock car racing team that competes in the top two factions of NASCAR and has six Cup Series championships and five Xfinity Series championships to its name. It is backed by Chevrolet.

 

The History of Richard Childress Racing

Founded by former NASCAR racer Richard Childress, the team that boasts about being one of the revered ones in the circuit right now came from humble beginnings. Established in 1969, the team owner was the sole member of the team for almost two decades and served as "the driver, head mechanic, chief engine builder and mostly everything in between".

However, RCR's fortune took a turn in the 1980s when a few full-time and part-time employees joined the team. What made it even more special was that the team finally clinched its maiden victory with newly hired Ricky Rudd, after 14 years of its inception.

Richard Childress Racing’s Net Worth 

Richard Childress Racing has managed to build quite an empire over the years. According to Forbes, as of February 2020, the team had an estimated net worth of $150 million. The team also boasts an extensive partnership with multiple brands, including notable ones such as sporting goods retailer Bass Pro Shops, Coca-Cola, Lenovo, Lucas Oil and Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen that joined the team in 2020, among several others.

As for RCR's technical partners, brands such as Automotive Racing Products(ARP), gasket and engine sealing solutions company Cometic, mobility solutions company Mahle and Lucas Oil sit high on the list, along with ANSYS, Miller, OMAX, Zeiss Industrial Metrology, Smith Bros. Push Rods, Sodick, automotive suspension and steering components supplier Moog, software systems manufacuturer JobBOSS and paint protection film and window tint film manufacturer XPEL.

Richard Childress Racing Drivers

RCR currently fields four drivers in NASCAR's top two divisions. While the Cup Series campaign is spearheaded by #3 driver and Richard Childress' grandson Austin Dillon and #8 driver Kyle Busch, its Xfinity Series team consists of #2 driver Jesse Love and #21 driver Austin Hill.

Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch joined RCR ahead of the 2023 season after leaving the 15-year-long partnership with his former team Joe Gibbs Racing after multiple reports indicated a fallout between Busch and his former team owing to sponsorship woes. Addressing the issue, Kyle Busch had said according to Yahoo Sports, “Something that is so disappointing to me and so hurtful about this whole situation with JGR is they were like family. For 15 years, Joe had my back in the stupidest of moments that Kyle Busch was. Like, he was there for me. And it's gone. Like it just [snaps fingers] Flipped and gone. And it's like nothing I've ever been a part of.”

USA Today via Reuters

Richard Childress's grandson Austin Dillon is also making quite the name for himself driving for RCR. The racer drives the iconic #3 in the Cup Series, which was first popularised by the great Dale Earnhardt. In fact, the late racer won six of his seven Cup Series championships driving the No. 3 Chevrolet and continued to be a part of the #3 team, until his sudden death in 2001. So naturally, after Earnhardt's passing, Richard Childress retired the car number. However, as Dillon was poised to make his full-time Cup Series debut, grandfather Childress decided to revive the #3.

And even Austin Dillon himself recognizes the legacy and magnanimity of the No. 3. "There's a lot prestige behind it and a lot of history goes with it. I feel like if we run well with it, it's just going to make things a lot easier. I'm going to put the pressure on myself to go out there and see what we can do," Dillon had said according to The Daytona Beach News Journal.

USA Today via Reuters

Richard Childress Racing’s Investments

The RCR team's interests exceed far beyond the realms of NASCAR. The team took over the reigns of engine production company ECR Engines back in 2016. In early 2023, the team owner purchased the Carolina Cowboys PBR (Professional Bull Riders) team. “I’ve always been a fan of the Western lifestyle, but the new teams concept kicks up the excitement and has proven in its inaugural year to be a strong step forward for the future of bull riding. I couldn’t be prouder to continue to build the Carolina Cowboys alongside Austin Dillon, Jeff Broin, our partners, and fans, ” Childress said in a press release.

Richard Childress also owns a winery in Lexington, North Carolina that started operations in 2004. According to the official website of the winery, "NASCAR team owner Richard Childress fulfilled a longtime dream that grew from the days when he first began racing in California and visited wineries with friends. What began as camaraderie and good times soon became an engaging passion for world-class wines, leading to the vision of building a world-class winery of his own". 

Richard Childress Racing Charity and Foundation 

In a benevolent and philanthropic endeavor, Richard Childress, in partnership with his wife Judy, opened the Childress institute of Pediatric Trauma. Opened in 2008, the institution works toward saving severely injured children. According to the Wake Forest University's website, "the Institute funds research, education and advocacy to help improve the care and treatment injured kids receive across the U.S." 

Apart from that, the institute provides scholarships to pediatric trauma care providers, besides providing national grants for new pediatric trauma research and technologies.

Richard Childress Racing Major Achievements and Awards

When it comes to statistics, RCR has had a tumultuous journey. Although the team has six Cup series championships (1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994) to its name, the last time it found itself at the top of the NASCAR Cup standings was 29 years ago. All of its Cup championship came with Dale Earnhardt and since the Intimidator's passing, the team has found itself in quite the drought.

In comparison, RCR's Xfinity career had seen an upward curve. The team has been able to clinch five championships(2001, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2019) in the second faction. As for the Truck Series, the team has had two championship wins, in 1995 and 2011. Apart from that, RCR also has three Daytona 500 wins:  Dale Earnhardt in 1998, Kevin Harvick in 2007, and Austin Dillon in 2018.

Richard Childress Racing’s Black Day

The Daytona 500 was perhaps one of Dale Earnhardt and his team RCR's greatest achievements. After chasing an elusive win at the track for about two decades of his career, the driver finally succeeded in finish P1 in 1998. However, just three years later, the same race would claim his life. It all happened on February 18, 2001, when the driver was competing in the final lap of the race. The driver slammed head-first into the retaining wall after contact with Ken Schrader and Sterling Marlin. The driver had suffered from a basilar skull fracture and had died instantly upon contact. Earnardt's death triggered a wave of safety improvements in stock cars and are seen even today.

via Imago

After Earnhardt's demise, RCR decided to cease operations to its No. 3. However, in 2014, with Austin Dillon's full-time entry into the Cup Series, the iconic car number was brought back.

Richard Childress Racing Controversies

Richard Childress Racing has had quite some controversies over the years. One of the very recent episodes happened in October of 2023, in the back of the Martinsville Xfinity race where both of the team's drivers Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed were competing for a spot in the upcoming week's Championship race. However, an unfortunate last lap contact resulted in both the drivers being ousted. The conversation that later ensued saw team owner Richard Childress openly criticizing Sheldon Creed. And to say that his choice of word were not kind would be an understatement. “I’ve had drivers drive for me before but nobody as stupid as Sheldon Creed,” Childress told NBC Sports after the race.

Even Andy Petree, vice president of competition at RCR was seen shouting at the #2 driver in the pit road before storming off. And that's not all. The controversy further deepened as a misplaced PR nightmare hinted at more drama behind the scenes. According to a report by EssentiallySports, it all started when RCR sent out a tweet stating that Xfinity Series driver Sheldon Creed will not drive for the next season. A little over a couple hours later, Creed tweeted a statement that stated that he was the one who had left RCR and not the other way around. What's even surprising is that RCR had decided to make the announcement while Creed was still competing in the playoffs. For now, all of that is in the past as Creed has joined Joe Gibbs Racing.

It can be said that Richard Childress is quite a hot-headed man. 13 years before the Creed-Hill debacle, Childress was stuck in another controversy with RCR's current driver, Kyle Busch, who was a part of JGR at the time. After the conclusion of a Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway in 2011, Richard Childress, then 65, decided to confront Busch. And by confront, we mean putting Busch into a headlock and throwing punches at him. The reason? Busch had apparently raced then RCR driver Joey Coulter too hard. While Busch didn't retaliate, NASCAR did and fined the team owner $150,000 and put him on probation for the rest of the season. However, all of that is in the past now as Busch joined RCR ahead of the 2023 season and he can also be seen taking a trip or two to Childress' winery along with his wife Samantha.

However, that's not all. RCR driver Ryan Newman was handed "one of the largest penalties in [NASCAR's] history" as said by motorsports journalist Jeff Gluck, back in 2015. The team had reportedly partaken in a restricted act called "bleeding tires" where they poked holes in the tires so that they slowly release pressure throughout the race and last longer.  While Newman and RCR were docked 75 points each, the teams crew chief Luke Lambert was handed a penalty of $125,000 and a six race suspension. Lambert was also put on probation for the rest of the year. Team engineer Philip Surgen and tire technician James Bender and also were suspended for six races and placed on probation.

Later, RCR had appealed against the decision. But to their dismay, a NASCAR appeals panel upheld the penalty and ruled that the tires has intentionally been altered.

Richard Childress Racing Social Media

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/RichardChildressRacing/
Twitterhttps://www.twitter.com/RichardChildressRacing/
Websitehttps://www.rcrracing.com/

 

NameRichard Childress Racing
OwnersRichard Childress
BaseNorth Carolina, United States
Series NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Truck Series, ARCA Racing Series
Race DriversKyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Jesse Love, Austin Hill
SponsorsChevrolet, Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Off Road, Zone, 3CHI, Alsco Uniforms, Bennett Transportation & Logistics, BetMGM, BREZTRI, Campers Inn RV, Cheddar's, Coca-Cola, Cometic Gasket, Dow, E-Z-GO, Get Bioethanol and Lucas Oil among others.
ManufacturerChevrolet
Founded1969
Latest Race2024 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum
Championship14
Race Victories249
Net Worth$150 million (As of February 2020)

 

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