Sunday afternoon most of us waited for one thing and one thing only and it wasn’t about winning the pole for the Daytona 500. We waited with bated breath for the one thing fans have argued about for a while, the return of the No. 3. Many fans were happy to see it return to the track while just as many felt the hurt and sting as it took to the track.
For many fans, they never wanted to see it back. Actually remembering the promise made by Richard Childress that it would not come back. At the time not realizing there were loopholes with that statement that has brought us to where we are today, fans divided and the car carrying the No. 3 is back. Some fans watched with tears as it went around the track feeling betrayed by Richard Childress Racing, but it was back and fans had no say in it.
Now not only did the car come back but it is sitting on the pole for the biggest race of the year. Some fans are finding that a little hard to swallow, going as far as saying it was fixed by NASCAR for ratings. Which at this point does not even matter. It’s back and not going anywhere. Now it’s time to focus on the things fans can do, which is give Austin Dillon a chance.
Now many fans will not give Austin a chance but hopefully some will. If you think about it from his perspective, there is a lot on his shoulders. How would you like to be the driver and sit in that car knowing the legacy that goes with it? He will have to find a way to create his own legacy in a car that already has a legacy of its own. He needs to figure out how to forge his own path in the racing world and not be in the shadow of the man that made magic in that car, Dale Earnhardt Sr. He needs to prove to fans he deserves to sit behind the wheel of that car and that he will make everyone proud. That is a lot for a young driver to deal with.
My point is this; like it or not the No. 3 is here and Dillon is driving it. We need to think with our heads and not our hearts. Dillon may rise to the occasion and earn the respect of the fans or he may become his own worst enemy sitting in the biggest shoes in NASCAR to date. He won’t be able to do any of that if he isn’t given the chance by the fans.
Dale Earnhardt would want Dillon to be given the chance to prove what he’s got, but he would also expect Dillon to live up to his potential. The jury is out right now, so let’s do the right thing and give Dillon the chance to prove everyone wrong. Let Dillon prove that he deserves to be where he is today, carrying the famous number 3.