An Earnhardt behind the wheel of the #3 car and crew chief Larry McReynolds on the pit box?
No, I’m not talking about Dale Earnhardt‘s iconic win in the 1998 Daytona 500.
This weekend at Talladega, Dale’s grandson Jeffrey will be piloting his grandpa’s familiar #3 car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The son of Kerry Earnhardt and nephew to Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his first start for Richard Childress Racing, the team that his legendary grandfather drove for during his NASCAR career.
Jeffrey has 135 Xfinity Series starts in his career, with a best finish of third place while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2019. Earnhardt has also competed in 76 Cup Series races, with his last start coming at Talladega in 2019.
The run for Jeffrey Earnhardt will mark the first time that an Earnhardt has driven a #3 car since 2010, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the #3 in an Xfinity Series race at Daytona – and took home the win.
The younger Earnhardt talked about how much it means to jump into a car with so much importance to his family:
“What a dream come true. The chance to be behind the wheel of the No. 3 car for RCR, that my pawpaw made famous, has long been a dream of mine and now it’s finally happening.
I can’t thank ForeverLawn enough for making my dreams come to reality and for being such a big part of my career. I also want to thank Mr. Childress for making this possible. The No. 3 car is cherished by a lot of people, and I know how much it means to him. To give me this opportunity is something I’ll never forget.”
And when Jeffrey slides into his #3 car, there will be a familiar face on the pit box for fans of Dale Earnhardt.
Larry McReynolds, who served as Earnhardt’s crew chief during the 1997 and 1998 seasons, will be returning to the pit box for the first time since the end of the 2000 season, when Larry Mac stepped down to join the Fox Sports broadcast booth with Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip.
The first race that McReynolds called for Fox was the 2001 Daytona 500, the race in which Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last lap crash.
Larry Mac talked about how special it will be for him to be back on a pit box talking to an Earnhardt behind the wheel:
“Think about it, 25 years ago I was his grandfather’s crew chief. We ran second in the Cup race in the spring of 1997. So I’m back on the box.”
An Earnhardt driving the #3 with Larry Mac as crew chief once again. Pretty cool stuff.