LONDON: The Racing Journal

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VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. — A couple of dominant topics in racing were in the news this week.

One is leaving and the other is coming back. I’m talking about Steve Kinser and NASCAR’s famed No. 3.

The Kinser announcement seems inevitable. His 59-year-old body, well beaten after 37 years of hard racing and even harder traveling, will run a full World of Outlaws season one last time. It will be a full year with 92 dates on the docket.

The once unbeatable “King” has had trouble winning in recent years, which is certainly understandable. Kinser is one of the most amazing figures in the history of racing.

All those wins and championships. He has won at 142 different race tracks. There is little else to say. Noted, however he is not giving up driving completely. After this year, he will be picking his spots. This may work just fine. A well-rested Kinser will probably prevail more often than not.

Despite his dominance, Kinser has always been very popular with the fans. Many respect that despite hard, close contact racing, he has stayed pretty clean. He’ll be greeted with much applause this year.

No. 3 has been absent from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001. It will return next year with Austin Dillon driving it for his grandfather Richard Childress.

Many fans are upset about this saying that No. 3 is “Dale’s signature.” Actually Childress when he was racing always bore that number, which had been used by his idol, Junior Johnson.

The decision was up to Childress, who rest assured will be very emotional the first time Austin takes to the track at Daytona in February.

The car will carry Cheerios livery, which means it won’t be black. It’s been 13 years since Dale was taken from us. Dale Jr., has already indicated he doesn’t mind the return of No. 3

And the rest of us shouldn’t either.

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