NASCAR fans, (I know there are a few of you out there) a poll!

How would you feel if Richard Childress Racing brought back the old number 3? It’s been over 4 years since Dale Earnhardt died and the number of his car was changed to 29 for Kevin Harvick. I agreed with that move then, and I still think it was the right call. But as time goes on, more and more of me wants to see Harvick drive the car he was meant to drive, that being the old Earnhard #3. Had Dale not been killed at Daytona, he would have retired and left the 3 in Kevin’s capable hands.

So how about it? Would it bother you to see the 3 back on track?

I’m not really that much of a NASCAR fan - but I have some friends who are quite passionate about it. I don’t think it would go over well. Personally, I think Harwick is doing well with 29. Because of the tragedy #3 will always be Dale, Sr…

A part of me feels that RCR is waiting to steal Dale Jr from DEI. Dale Jr in the #3 would be a beautiful thing IMO. Personally, I think this isn’t too far away, given the performance of the DEI cars (#8 & #15) lately.

Harvick is #29, I’m fairly sure that him driving the #3 would be too much pressure for him (IMO), as then he’d have to live up to the number, and the memories that it would revive for him. Unless it’s an Earnhardt driving the #3, I’m not sure the fans would go for it. Kerry Earnhardt in the #3 would be ok in my book. I think he’s a decent driver, but needs a great ride to show what he can do.

Anyone know Michael Waltrip’s plans for next year? I’ve not heard any talk of a new ride for him. I’d be a shame for him to not drive, as (without this years HORRIBLE luck, he’d be a solid mid-mid teens in the points). He’s certainly better than a bunch of the lower ranked drivers out there, even with the current state of DEI.

(waiting for the inevitable flames, and nitpicking of my passionate, but limited NASCAR knowledge)

I still see more #3 window stickers around here than any other. Too soon.

See, I don’t want to see Junior in the three. I would never forgive Childress if he was able to give that number to Junior, and Kerry just isn’t a good enough driver to pull it off. Dale’s plan was to groom Harvick for his ride at Childress, and have Junior be the foundation at DEI. I agree though, that the number change would be tough. As much as I want to see Kevin take it over, it probably won’t happen. But I am more than ready to see someone use the number 3 again.

Giving #3 to Kevin Harvick, or anyone else, would be like the rock band Queen replacing Freddie Mercury with Paul Rodgers. Oh, wait…

Ok, it would be like the band INXS replacing Michael Hutchence by creating an American Idol-style reality show to pick their new lead singer. Hmm…

I guess it’s just a matter of time before some sponsor offers Childress enough money to revive the black 3. :rolleyes:

It should remain retired and I can’t imagine that Jr. would want the pressure of driving the #3 car. The pressure is high enough just being the son of a legend. Harvick should stick to the 29 and make his own legend if he’s capable.

I’d rather see Harvick stay with the #29, with the #3 either remaining retired or going to Junior if he jumps to RCR and wants to run it. I’m under the impression, however, that traditionally drivers tend to avoid numbers that have been involved in fatal accidents. I may be misremembering.

Wow. I knew I’d be in the minority, but I didn’t think I’d be the only one. I absolutley can’t stand the idea of Junior getting the 3. I’d rather it never come back at all than to see that primmadonna behind the wheel of it. And og forbid he ever joins RCR, I’d have to rethink my alliance.
Ahem. With that venom out of the way, I’m curious to know why you all think that the number should stay retired or would like to see Jr. get it. Is it still too soon to see the black 3 on the track? Do you think Childress should retire the number? (incedentaly, even if Childress decided never to use it, he could still sell it to someone who would.) And what if RCR does sell the number to another team?

I’d really hate seeing the #3 come out of retirement. I was a NASCAR fan long before it was cool. For me, the #3 car is so closely linked to Dale Earnhardt that it would be painful and disorienting to have anyone else drive it.

On to silly season…

Butler1850, you might want to go visit Jayski’s web site. It is a great place to keep up with NASCAR rumors.


Here’s a direct link to the rumors on 2006 teams.

Team Chart

And a link to the latest on Michael Waltrip

Mikey Rumors

The rumors are all over the place for Waltrip, ranging from the remote (Mikey and NAPA move to Roush’s #6) to the possible (he takes over Rusty Wallace’s vacancy in #2 Miller) to the creative (he goes to Ganassi, taking Jamie McMurray’s ride so McMurray can go to Roush replacing Martin).

The most recent rumors is that he will leave DEI before the end of the season, possibly taking NAPA sponsorship with him, to drive for Joe Gibbs in the #11 car (currently Jason Leffler sponsored by Fed Ex). Some rumors have him taking Tony Eury Jr. along as crew chief!! Waltrip emphatically denies this rumor. But Leffler was released by Joe Gibbs today…

Today’s rumors also include him staying with DEI.

I’ll go back to lurking now.

Junior is #8, and should stick with that #.

Likewise, to me, Kevin Harvick is #29 and shoud stick with that #.

Should the #3 be brought out of exile and used again? Yeah, I have no problem with that. It won’t tarnish DE’s memory or anything, even if some big loser like Jimmy Spencer drove the car… ok, well Jimmy Spencer might tarnish the memory, but you get what I’m saying.


The most recent rumors is that he will leave DEI before the end of the season, possibly taking NAPA sponsorship with him, to drive for Joe Gibbs in the #11 car (currently Jason Leffler sponsored by Fed Ex). Some rumors have him taking Tony Eury Jr. along as crew chief!! Waltrip emphatically denies this rumor. But Leffler was released by Joe Gibbs today…

Today’s rumors also include him staying with DEI.


Eury Jr. is close to signing new contract with DEI and it is reported when he does, he will return the the Bud pitbox. And Leffler was released by Gibbs today, Terry Labonte and the 2 Gibbs Busch series drivers, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley will fill in the rest of the season. On Wind Tunnel last night, Dave Despain commented that a highly place source in DEI commented that Waltrip was asked to reconsider leaving. It probably has more to do with Waltrip would be taking NAPA with him when he leaves rather keeping Waltrip behind the wheel. It is much easier to find a good driver than a good sponsor. DEI has had problems attracting new sponsorship in recent years, they have lost Pennzoil, AC Delco, and Remington the past couple of years. And Bass Pro Shops is moving up to Nextel Cup next year with Martin Truex Jr. but for only 22 races. There are already a couple long established teams looking for sponsorship (#6 Roush, #31 Childress), plus there is a very short line of companies looking to move into Nextel Cup racing, keeping what you have in place can be more important that finding a new driver.

I don’t think you will see Jr. in a Goodwrench #3 any time soon. Budweiser will pay whatever it takes to keep Jr. in the fold, the deal between DEI and Bud is reportedly about $30 million a year and about half that is Jr.'s salary. GM is already spread thin in auto racing in general and is not in any position to pay Jr. a bunch of money through it’s Goodwrench brand. I don’t think you will see a #3 car anytime soon.

IMHO I don’t think any number should be retired. When you think of a star athelete do you first remember their number?

This thread seems to be morphing into a discussion of NASCAR’s silly season. That is not at all a bad thing. In fact, if this has to get moved into MPSIMS or Cafe Society to really get into a good talk, I’d have no problem with it. There just aren’t enough NASCAR threads around here, and I’m more than happy to let this one turn into a general discussion.

I’m not a NASCAR fan (I prefer Champ Car), but there are some numbers you just don’t use again. The Broncos will never again have a #7 play on their team, the Packers will never use the #4 jersey after Favre retires, and NASCAR will just have to do without the #3.

IMHO it’s still to early, but I think #3 will return to the track. Junior has enough problems right now - I sure wouldn’t want to see him have to deal with driving his dad’s car.

The DEI team swap has been interesting to watch. Mikey’s proven that he does well with good equipment and a good team. My hope is that he’ll stay with DEI and that they’ll get BOTH teams fixed. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Just to be pedantic, the #3 isn’t retired. RC pays a fee every year to NASCAR to keep the number. But, it’s not retired like a baseball number or we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

Now, god I wish they’d give that number to someone. I’d love to see Jeff Gordon in it. Just to piss 'em off and stop the insanity once and for all. Not that Jeffy G shit doesn’t sell, but I think that would be hilarious anyway.

I don’t even consider all the #3 people fans of NASCAR. They’re groupies. And they’re groupies of a dead guy. And, I don’t even get the feeling that many of 'em understand auto racing very well.

Still, there’s no way it’s going to happen. NASCAR makes a BANK off sales of #3 every year. When that slows down, maybe you’ll see it go somewhere.

The #3 stuff is crazy. You wanna call Jeff Gordon a fag and then buy a #3 with ANGEL WINGS on it? Excuse me while I roll my eyes. How 'bout you find a new driver, watch some racing and drop it already.

As Trunk mentioned in the post above mine, the difference is that the Broncos or the Packers organization can retire those numbers. NASCAR doesn’t retire numbers. If they did, they wouldn’t be allowing Jeff Green to piss all over the legacy of Richard Petty’s #43. I think in due time, someone will get the 3 again.

(But if that someone turns out to be Junior, I will not be happy. As big an Earnhardt fan as I was, I can’t stand his punk son. I’m glad he won’t make the chase this year)

There was an article in the Orlando Sentinal a few weeks ago in which Junior was not too shy about admitting that he would love to wheel the RCR #3 car if things could be worked out. When asked how long that could take if all parties agreed, he guessed “less than 24 hours, I suppose.” I had the link bookmarked, but it’s dead now.

At this point still, other than Childress himself, Junior is probably the only one who could live up to the pressure of driving the #3 car.

No one said it was still going to be black. If Junior were to take it over, it most likely would be a red Budweiser car, as they are committed to him, not so much DEI, IIRC.

Thanks! I do read jayski pretty regularly (not nearly as regular as I read the Dope though), and hadn’t even thought to look for a rumors page.

Should be interesting in any case, as Mrs. Butler is a huge #15 fan, and I think he’s the best part of “Inside Nextel Cup” on Speed. Sad to see the run of bad luck he’s had this year. Not the best driver in the world, but I’d certainly want him driving my car if I was the sponsor. He’s among the best at getting his sponsor’s name out there in any press opportunity he has.