DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Richard Childress pumped his fist above his head, emphatically celebrating his grandson's latest accomplishment.
It was a rare show of emotion from the usually stoic team owner.
Then again, this moment was far from normal. Austin Dillon took the iconic No. 3 — the number the late Dale Earnhardt drove to 67 wins and six of his seven championships — out of pseudo-retirement and put it back atop the scoring tower at Daytona International Speedway.
Dillon might as well have grabbed the largest Earnhardt tribute flag ever made and waved it all around NASCAR's most famous track.
Childress says, "The 3 is special to all of us. The family, the Earnhardt family, to every one of us, but I think it's special because Austin, our family, is in the car."