It has been 12 years since Dale Earnhardt died on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Since then, his legendary #3 has not been seen on many tracks. There have been times when it has shown up but for the longest time, it was unused. Austin Dillon, who happens to be the grandson of Richard Childress, is the guy that runs that number now. The latest ESPN commercial depicting that is incredible.
There are fans that are not happy that he is running that number. Many people believe that the number should be retired but that is not how the sport works. Childress can give the number to anyone that he wants and he believes that his grandson can honor the number that his best friend once drove with. That is what the commercial is saying. He is not trying to replace Earnhardt. He is trying to honor him.
A lot of people won’t understand the point of this spot and that is just fine. NASCAR is kind of a tricky thing to get. You don’t see a lot of casual fans. You either like it or you don’t. This commercial speaks to a lot of those diehard fans who were affected on that final lap in 2001. This commercial is for those who lost a hero on that day.
It won’t be long until you see the #3 back in Sprint Cup series. Dillon is probably a year way from joining the circuit and I bet that he has the three car. It may seem odd, but he’s the right guy to carry on with that number.