The much-heralded return of the No. 3 to the top level of NASCAR was a talking point throughout the winter and into Daytona, but not nearly as much in the subsequent three races.
What has been interesting to note is that in four races, Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has been adorned in four different liveries, not a standard, solid and singular color.
In Daytona, the black-and-white No. 3 premiered with Dow Chemical on the car. In Phoenix, it was the black-and-green 3, thanks to American Ethanol.
Dillon’s No. 3 channeled Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and yellow” for the first time at Las Vegas, with Cheerios signage.
And now at Bristol this past weekend, the 3 was white and camo, thanks to Bad Boy Buggies and RealTree.
There is room for more to come. Newsday reported from RCR Chief Marketing Officer Ben Schlosser that “We still have a few races open toward the back half of the year, but we don’t go public with exactly how many races are left.”
That could be between a mix of current companies and potential new ones.
But it is interesting to note that despite the marketing and story-line potential of “the 3,” it’s not a cure-all to fill the hood and quarter panels for all 36 points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.
Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.
Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.
With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.
“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.
“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”
Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.
Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.
You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.