Richard Childress is a former NASCAR driver. Childress was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
By 1971, Childress began racing on the top level as an independent driver. He changed to number 3 in 1976 as a tribute to Junior Johnson's past as a driver. Although he never won as a driver, he nonetheless proved to be capable and consistent behind the wheel registering six top-5 finishes, seventy-six top-10 finishes, and five Top 10 point finishes, with a career-best ranking of fifth in 1975. He did, however, win the unofficial invitational Metrolina 200 in 1974. He retired from driving in 1981 after Rod Osterlund sold his NASCAR team to J.D. Stacy, and Osterlund's driver, Dale Earnhardt, did not want to drive for Stacy. Childress chose to retire and put Earnhardt behind the wheel of his No. 3 car.Earnhardt returned for the 1984 season, and together with Childress formed one of the most potent combinations in NASCAR history. They won championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1994.
As of 2020, he is the team owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). As a business entrepreneur, Childress became one of the wealthiest men in North Carolina. He was on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association.