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New Monte Carlo to pace field at Charlotte
'99 News
The Earnhardt Connection

Richard Childress has won six NASCAR championships as a car owner, all of them with Earnhardt as the driver.

Concord, N.C. (May 13, 1999)
The all-new 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo will pace the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Richard Childress, one of NASCAR's top team owners, will mark his 30th year in racing by driving the pace car. This also marks the 30th year anniversary of the Monte Carlo, whose nameplate has already cemented Chevrolet's place in racing history.

"Monte Carlo is the most successful nameplate on the NASCAR circuit," said Monte Carlo brand manager Don Parkinson. "It only makes sense that we put it out in front of the pack as the pace car, with a racing legend like Richard Childress. Both are already recognized leaders on the track."

Childress has proven his leadership on the track with a driving career spanning 12 years -- 1969-1981 -- when he drove his own NASCAR Winston Cup Series car to six top-5 finishes and 76 top-10s. It was in 1981 that Childress made a career change from driver to full-time car owner, stepping aside to let Dale Earnhardt replace him in the driver's seat.

"It's an honor to be selected as pace car driver and to introduce the all-new 2000 Monte Carlo as a pace car," Childress said. "This is my 30th year in racing and most of those races have been in Chevrolets. You can't beat a Chevrolet product. I never won a race as a driver, but I'll be running out front at Charlotte in that 2000 Monte Carlo and I can't wait."

Childress has also proven his leadership as owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). He and Earnhardt have won six NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships together, going back-to-back three times: 1986-87, 1990-91 and 1993-94. In 1995, he became the first team owner to win a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, with Mike Skinner driving his No. 3 trucks. Childress has been to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series 63 times and has 203 top-5 and 294 top-10 finishes in 429 starts.

RCR won a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race every season from 1983 to 1996, finishing in the top-3 in points nine of the last 12 seasons and finishing in the top-5 in points 11 of the last 12 years.

"I remember when Richard drove stock cars," NASCAR President Bill France said, "and I don't think he will have any problems driving the Monte Carlo pace car. Richard has always been one of my heroes and represents the backbone of our sport."

No other manufacturer has won as many manufacturer's or driver's championships on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as Chevrolet. The Monte Carlo pace car will also make motorsports history May 30 as it becomes the first car to pace two prestigious motorsports events on the same day: the Indianapolis 500 (with comedian Jay Leno at the wheel) and the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C.