Richard Childress (born September 21, 1945) is a former NASCAR driver and the current team owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). As a business entrepreneur, Childress became one of the wealthiest men in North Carolina. A 2003/2004 business venture was the opening of a vineyard in the Yadkin Valley AVA, an American Viticultural Area located in North Carolina. Childress was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is on the Board of Directors to the National Rifle Association.
Childress' career in NASCAR's top levels started auspiciously when a drivers' strike at Talladega Superspeedway left NASCAR President William France Sr. looking for replacement drivers. Childress started his first race as a replacement.
By 1971, Childress began racing on the top level as an independent driver, using the number 96. He changed to number 3 in 1976 as a tribute to Junior Johnson's past as a driver. Although he never won as a driver, he proved to be average behind the wheel registering six top-5, seventy-six top-10 finishes, with a career-best of third in 1978.