Austin Dillon’s multi-colored No. 3 still has sponsorship available

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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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).