As expected, Richard Childress named Austin Dillon as the driver of the No. 3 Dow Chemicals Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday afternoon.
Executives from Dow Chemicals expressed their enthusiasm by expanding their partnership with NASCAR. The company already provides safety innovations in the sport and will sponsor 16 races with Austin piloting the No. 3.
“We see this as a great opportunity to partner with a historic team like Richard Childress Racing that is synonymous with success, integrity and championships, and a championship driver in Austin Dillon,” said Joe Harlan, executive vice president of Dow. “Austin’s winning passion is representative of Dow. Our employees and customers were very supportive of our debut into our partnership with RCR during 2013 and they are looking forward to continued involvement with Austin next year. Dow’s technology-focused, market-driven, customer-centric organization aligns perfectly with the performance-driven values of RCR and NASCAR. We look forward to being a part of Austin’s rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and continued success in NASCAR.”
General Mills’ Cheerios brand will also be a primary sponsor of the No. 3 during the 2014 season. This will be the sixth season General Mills has be in partnership with Richard Childress Racing.
“With Austin Dillon’s success in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, we’re proud to continue our support of Austin, a proven winner and passionate driver,” said Gregg Dorazio, manager of shopper marketing and motorsports for General Mills. “He shares many of the same values as the Cheerios brand and has a bright future in the sport. We’re excited to join him in this next step in his career. We’re also proud to continue our partnership with RCR and continue our heritage in the sport.”
In addition to Dow and Cheerios, Realtree Outdoors, Bass Pro Shots, American Ethanol and UNOH will follow Dillon as partners.
Dillon stated that he’s excited to run the No. 3 in the Sprint Cup Series – a number that he’s been driving under for his entire NASCAR career from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), the Nationwide Series (NNS) and now the Sprint Cup Series.
“My grandfather and everyone at RCR have done a great job of not pushing me too quickly into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Dillon. “I feel like I’ve been able to spend adequate time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series preparing for this next step in my career. I am thrilled to be making this move with partners like Dow and Cheerios, along with some long-time partners who have supported me and RCR throughout my career. I am truly grateful and looking forward to this opportunity.”
Richard Childress Racing Director of Media Tim Packerman told those in attendance during Wednesday’s press conference that RCR will not field a team in the NCWTS in the 2014 season. Brian Scott will drive the No. 2 and Ty Dillon will move from the NCWTS to the NNS this season to run the No. 3. They join Brendan Gaughan who will pilot the No. 62.
On the Cup side, Dillon will be joined by Paul Menard in the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet with crew chief “Slugger” Labbe and newcomer Ryan Newman will fill the seat in the No. 31 Caterpillar/Quicken Loans/Wix Filters Chevrolet. Luke Lambert will be the crew chief for Newman.
Photo provided by Richard Childress Racing.