CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Richard Childress Racing announced Wednesday that Austin Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014.
Dillon, last season's champion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will pilot the number made famous by seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt.
The No. 3 had been out of use in NASCAR's premier division since Earnhardt's death in a crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.
The offseason move was announced at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Wednesday's testing session.
Earnhardt won six of his titles in RCR's No. 3.
At the final race weekend of the year, Dillon openly talked about the significance of the number even as he closed in on his second NASCAR national series crown.
"I feel the pressure of the number because I want to make it run well for the fans, keep it up front," Dillon said. "It's a very special number to our family. ... Having the opportunity, the equipment, that stuff is always going to be with me from the very beginning. The number is more for me, putting pressure on myself. I like doing that. It's something that pushes me. Not everybody can say they have a number that pushes them, and I can, so that's nice."
Read more: NASCAR.com