Museum Tour: Richard Childress Racing

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    RacingOne continues our look at the must see NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race shops to visit while in North Carolina this week with a trip to the Richard Childress Racing Museum, which is housed in the old No. 3 race shop.

    The RCR Museum is located up the street from the team’s current NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series shops in Welcome, North Carolina. The museum features 35 plus years of racing history, including one of NASCAR's greatest drivers, Dale Earnhardt.

    Prior to entering the museum, Earnhardt’s No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet that was instrumental in capturing RCR’s first two championships in 1986 and 87 is on display.

    The immaculate museum houses nearly 50 race cars, with 22 being the famous black No. 3 driven by Earnhardt.

    The walk through the museum starts off in the original RCR engine shop that was operational from 1987 through 1999. In this room you can find some of Earnhardt’s cars that include the 1995 Brickyard 400 winner and the car that won four races in 1987. Off to the left of the engine shop you will find Richard Childress’ original office.

    The second room is filled with more historic No. 3 race cars with the highlight being the 1998 Daytona 500 winner. This is the second museum this car has been displayed in after being inducted into Daytona USA for one year following the victory. Other cars that are on display in this area include the 2000 No Bull winner from the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the 2001 Budweiser Shootout Oreo car and the 2003 RJR/Winston Tribute No. 3 car that Childress paced the field with in the fall Charlotte race.

    Next up is a look at the wash bay and the transporter garage where the original No. 3 hauler sits. From there, visitors will look get a look at what it took to build the race cars in the research and development and fabrication rooms.

    Childress has dedicated a portion of his museum to wildlife and outdoor conservation. After the fabrication room, visitors will enter the wildlife and conservation gallery. In this area is where visitors will learn about wildlife protection along with seeing some of Childress’ own hunting trophies.

    The next gallery contains some of the early cars from Childress’ racing career. The first being a 1937 Plymouth Coupe modified that Childress raced at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The next car is the No. 3 Kansas Jack/L.C. Newton Trucking Chevrolet Laguna that Childress piloted in 1976 and 77. Also on display is the No. 3 Piedmont Airlines car that Ricky Rudd drove to Richard Childress Racing’s first win on June 5, 1983 at Riverside International Raceway.

    The next galleries pay tribute to the sponsors at RCR by showcasing the No. 31 Cingular, No. 29 Reese’s and Goodwrench and the No. 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolets. Also featured are some the past PayDay and ACDelco sponsored Busch Series cars

    One of the most striking parts of the museum is the lineup of Earnhardt's six cars that competed in The Winston (now NEXTEL ALL-Star Challenge) starting with the famous “quicksilver” paint scheme that marked the first non-black car for Goodwrench and Earnhardt. The remaining All-Star event cars on display, in order, are the 1996 Olympics, the 1997 Wheaties, the 1998 Bass Pro Shops, the 1999 Wrangler, and the 2000 Wild looking Peter Max car.

    Across from "The Winston" cars visitors can find the No. 3 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured the emotional win with in the 2002 season-opening Busch race at Daytona.

    In just his third career Cup race, Kevin Harvick was able to score his first victory on March 11, 2001. That same car, which carried a white paint scheme, currently sits in the museum with an emotional backdrop of victory lane.

    The final hall of the museum holds another No. 3 Chevrolet and the inaugural 1995 championship truck of Mike Skinner. The next car is Harvick’s 2001 Busch Championship car, which is in the same condition after performing a burnout to celebrate the title. The museum wraps up with Earnhardt’s 1987 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 IROC machine, Harvick’s 2003 Brickyard 400 victory burnout tires and the No. 3 CRC Chemicals Chevrolet driven by Childress in the 1970s.

    The museum also features a large number of photos and trophies, plus a number of videos played throughout the building on 16 screens.

    Before leaving be sure to check out the large gift shop featuring RCR merchandise.

    Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (ET). Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors 55 and older. Prices for students 7-18 are $5 and children six and under are free. Please note that tickets will not be sold one hour prior to closing.

    Finally, be sure to check out our virtual podcast tour of the shops HERE

    Museum Address
    236 Industrial Drive
    Wecome, N.C. 27374

    How to get There
    From Charlotte take I-85 North until you reach the I-85-BR/US-29/US-52/US-70 exit (Exit 87) toward Lexington/High Point/Winston-Salem. Once there, Merge onto I-85 BR N/I-85 BL N. and stay straight to go onto US-52 N. Take the NC-8 S exit toward Welcome (EXIT 92) and then turn right onto NC-8/OLD US-52. Once you see the RCR Racing sign turn right and cross the railroad tracks. The RCR Museum will be right in front of you.

    Phone: (800) 476-3389

    Previous Video Tours
  • Penske Racing
  • Robert Yates Racing
  • Chip Ganassi Racing
  • Joe Gibbs Racing
  • Roush Racing
  • Richard Childress Racing

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