Richard Childress Racing currently seats three NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, including Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick. Harvick, will not be returning to his ride next season, and will be taking long time sponsor Budweiser with him when he moves over to Stewart Haas Racing at the start of the 2014 season.
Richard Childress was asked about plans for next year, regarding drivers at RCR during a media conference on Monday.
Q: At New Hampshire when we talked to you about the lineup and sponsorship, you said definitely Menard and Burton, question mark, possibly a fourth driver. A couple weeks down the road, after the Budweiser announcement, do you have an idea when you would like to nail things down and have an announcement ready for 2014 on the driver and sponsorship lineup?
Childress: That’s a good question. Right now we’re finalizing some final things. We have sponsorship on a third and we actually have some sponsorship on a fourth. But having it all finalized and put together, it could be a couple of months down the road before we have everything ready to do some announcing on any of that.
This leaves room for some speculation in regards to who will be driving the third, and possibly fourth cars at RCR. We know, Childress is interested in bringing up his grandson, Austin Dillion, who has driven a few races thus far this season in the series and has been driving in the Nationwide series full time.
Ryan Newman is a possibility as he sits with no ride for next season after being told SHR would not be resigning him. Newman would be taking Quicken Loans (his primary sponsor) with him wherever he goes, so that would guarantee sponsorship for at least some races next season.
Another option could be Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch, as being a satellite team to RCR, Busch could move over to fill a seat there. It would seem that either of these two drivers could end up being RCR’s “third driver” with Dillion filling in as the fourth driver next season.
If Dillion joins Cup next season, we could see the return of the No. 3 in NASCAR as well.