By 1971, Childress began racing on the top level as an independent driver, using the number 3 as a tribute to Junior Johnson's past as a driver. Although he never won as a driver, he proved to be excellent behind the wheel registering six top-5, seventy-six top-10 finishes, with a career-best of third in 1978.
That first alliance lasted for the season. Ricky Rudd was hired in 1982 and drove for two years, giving Childress his first career victory in June 1983 at Riverside. Earnhardt returned for the 1984 season, and together with Childress formed one of the most potent combinations in NASCAR history. They won championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1994.
In the mid-1990s, Childress began expanding his racing empire, fielding entries in the Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series. The team won the 1995 Craftsman Truck Series championship with driver Mike Skinner in the series' first season. He also expanded to a two-car operation in what is now known as the Sprint Cup, with driver Skinner driving the #31. In the first part of the 2000s, he expanded to three cars, with the #30 car driven by Jeff Green.
Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Childress promoted Busch driver Kevin Harvick to drive the renumbered #29. Harvick would win in only his third start, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
With Harvick having won the Busch Series championship in 2001 and 2006, RCR became the first team in NASCAR history to win all three of NASCAR's national championship series. RCR also won the Busch Series owners championships in 2003 with Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter and in 2007 with Scott Wimmer and Jeff Burton.
Hunt Brothers Pizza to Sponsor Richard Childress Racing and Drivers Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon for 2013 Nationwide Season
Feb 09, 2013; Wireless News02-09-2013Hunt Brothers Pizza to Sponsor Richard Childress Racing and Drivers Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon for 2013...