|08/29/19||DIBENNEDETTO NASCAR'S ROCKY BALBOA|
|06/26/19||FROM JOURNEYMAN DRIVER TO HALL OF FAMER|
|06/18/19||WINNERS NOT ADDING UP|
|05/25/19||THE 600 IS STILL A CROWN JEWEL|
|05/15/19||NEXT TWO WEEKS COULD BE TOO GOOD|
|04/10/19||WALTRIP A TWO-WAY HALL OF FAMER|
GREAT TO SEE "3"
Most of the 58th running of the Coca-Cola 600 was not very exciting and there really wasn't much to write home to mom about. The ending, however, dripped with drama and something happened we hadn't seen in 592 Monster Energy Cup Series races - a black number "3" Chevrolet rolled into victory lane.
I'm glad to say I was there, on the air, to witness Austin Dillon to grab his first career Cup win and the first for the number made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt since the "Intimidator" grabbed the checkered flag at Talladega in October 2000. Now 27, Dillon was only 10-years-old at the time. What a moment for Austin, what a moment for Earnhardt fans and what a moment for Richard Childress, who took a good deal of flack when he decided the time was right to bring the number back in 2014.
In his oldest grandson, he picked the perfect driver to carry the legacy and the pressure. Long before Earnhardt used the number, it was Childress' and Austin wore it like a family badge of honor. He slapped it on
This is also vindication for Austin, who's been maligned and criticized ferociously by the "
Austin's critics are going to be eating a lot of
The ending Sunday night was pretty cool. Austin was genuinely thrilled and the fans who stuck around loved his youthful exuberance. I'll always remember "RC" reaching through the window, overjoyed by what had happened, hugging his grandson's neck. Yes, he's the owner of one of the top teams in NASCAR, yet in that moment he was "Pop Pop" and loving every minute of it.
I can say I was there and I loved every minute of it too.