Richard Childress Racing celebrates 45th ‘birthday’

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If you see Richard Childress this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, wish him happy birthday.

Actually, wish him happy birthday twice.

Childress turns 69 on September 21, but he’s celebrating a different kind of birthday this weekend: the 45th anniversary of the birth of his namesake Richard Childress Racing.

RCR opened up shop on this weekend in August 1969, just before Childress, then just 23-years-old, made his NASCAR debut as a race car driver on Sept. 14, 1969 at Talladega Superspeedway.

He would go on to make 285 starts as a driver before ending his driving career to become a full-time team owner.

And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Although Childress never reached victory lane as a driver, he’s enjoyed 105 Sprint Cup wins as a team owner, as well as six career championships, all by the late Dale Earnhardt.

RCR also has earned 69 wins and four Nationwide Series championships (two by Kevin Harvick, one each by Clint Bowyer and grandson Austin Dillon), as well as 31 wins and two championships (Mike Skinner and Austin Dillon) in the Camping World Truck Series.

The team issued a media release commemorating the event, which read in-part:

“Over the next 45 days, RCR will showcase photographs, personal stories and interviews from those who have been with the organization throughout the years.

“Starting Sunday August 17, @RCRracing and http://www.rcrracing.com will feature daily throwbacks showcasing moments that shaped the motorsports organization. The content will also highlight the evolution of the team and technology to today’s drivers and those who call the shots each weekend at the track 45 years later.

“Fans will also be able to read stories from those who have been with the company from its inception, reliving multiple championships, wins and iconic races over the past 45 years.”

Fans can share their own favorite RCR highlights on Twitter at #RCR45.

Happy 45th birthday, RCR. You don’t look a day over 30.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”