It's been almost 13 years since Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was killed during the 2001 Daytona 500, but the famed No. 3 will be making its return to the sport at that very track next month with NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon behind the wheel. We first heard reports of this back in August, but Richard Childress Racing has made the news official this week.
They don't typically retire numbers in motor racing the way they do in other sports. Certainly not in series like F1 where numbers are assigned based on how the team did in the previous season. But even in American oval-track racing, it's a bit of a rarity. CART retired Greg Moore's number 99 after he died in a crash in 1999, but the number resurfaced after the Indy merger. NASCAR has only ever officially retired a number once – the number 61 that Richie Evans used until he died in 1985 &n