Back in 1981, Richard Childress signed Dale Earnhardt to finish out the season for him. The thing was, he wasn’t quite ready for him yet. They worked together for that year but Childress urged Earnhardt to go to Bud Moore for the next two years.
Meanwhile, Childress got things in place to be sure when he brings Earnhardt back, he would be ready to contend for championships.
For 1984, he was ready. Earnhardt came back. In Year 3, they were champions. 6 of Earnhardt’s 7 titles came with RCR.
Fast forward to 2022 – Childress got his Earnhardt again.
“I looked at him in his eye and I had seen that look from Dale Earnhardt Sr’s eye,” Childress said of Kyle Busch.
“Just how he handles the car, the car control, the way he drives a car and the take-no-prisoner attitude, that’s the Dale Earnhardt style I was accustomed to racing with. I think Kyle has that modern-day style of racing that Dale Earnhardt had in his time.
“He’s hungry. We’re going to win.”
Busch had to feel spurned by Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. They kept citing the need for a financial backing sponsor in order to bring Busch back. All the while, Busch said he’d take less money to make it work.
When no progress was being made, Busch went outside the Gibbs walls to see what he can find. Austin Dillon led Busch and Childress together.
Now, they got themselves a deal.
RCR announced on Tuesday that Busch will join the organization’s NASCAR Cup Series stable in 2023, merging one of the NASCAR industry’s most storied teams with one of the sports’ most successful modern era drivers.
Since making his NASCAR debut 18 years ago, Busch has grown into a successful driver, team owner and businessman, easily becoming one of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR’s modern history. He owns 60 wins in the elite NASCAR Cup Series and is the only active multi-time champion. He is currently competing for his third Cup Series championship in the NASCAR Playoffs. In addition to his two Cup Series championships, the Las Vegas native won the 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship and is the all-time wins leader in that series (102) as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (62). As an owner, he has led Kyle Busch Motorsports to 98 career victories and seven owner’s championships, both are Truck Series records.
“RCR has an impressive history in NASCAR and I’m honored that Richard is putting his trust in me to come in and continue to build on that legacy,” said Busch. “Growing up in a family of passionate racers myself, I feel like the culture that the Childress family has built within their organization will be an ideal fit for me. As I begin the next chapter of my career, I’m looking forward to driving for RCR and working with everyone there to add more wins and championships to both of our resumes.”
From a one-man team in 1969, Childress has grown RCR into one of the most storied organizations in NASCAR, with more than 200 victories and 16 championships. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series, and is a three-time winner of the Daytona 500 (1998, 2007, 2018).
“The addition of Kyle Busch to the Richard Childress Racing lineup is significant, not only for our organization, but for the sport as a whole,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Kyle is a proven contender at the highest levels of the sport, and I believe that his experience and dedication to motorsports will elevate our race program across the board. I’ve always admired Kyle’s driving style and his ability to win and race for championships ever since he entered the sport. Who wouldn’t want a proven NASCAR Cup Series Champion driving their car?”
Busch, who has more than 220 career wins spread out among NASCAR’s top-three national series, will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 under the Richard Childress Racing banner, adding a multi-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion to the Chevrolet Racing camp. Randall Burnett will serve as crew chief.
“We’d like to welcome Kyle back to Team Chevy, where he started his NASCAR career,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance and Motorsports. “As a 60 Cup race winner and two-time champion, he will be a valuable addition to Richard Childress Racing and the Chevrolet line-up. We look forward to working with Kyle starting in 2023.”