It was one of, if not the saddest day in NASCAR history. February 18, 2001 at Daytona International Speedway. The final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 was the last time we saw the No 3 on a NASCAR track as that was the day we lost Dale Earnhardt. Ironically, he died being a great teammate to winner Michael Waltrip and his son, Dale Jr.



You know the story after that, NASCAR moves on and the next week at Atlanta, Kevin Harvick, was brought up to "fill in" to race in Earnhardt's car but the number was changed to No 29. As fortune and fate would have it, Harvick won that day and everyone just knew that someone was with him in that No 29 car.



Fast forward to February 16, 2014. The first official day the No 3 had been on a NASCAR track since Dale Earnhardt's untimely death. And what happened? Austin Dillon won the poll for the 2014 Daytona 500. I am getting chills as I type.



Forget that everyone says that the No 3 should stay retired, forget that people are upset and angry about this. Those people need to grow up. Look at it from the side that, IF this day was to ever come, Austin Dillon is the right choice.

Dillon is only 23 years old and has his own style that is kind of a throw back in wearing a cowboy hat. He drives for Richard Childress Racing, who owned the No 3 when Earnhardt drove it and has kept the number under RCR since 2001. Dillon's grandfather is Richard Childress. Who better to pick than the grandson of the owner of the car? He is family. Not some hand picked that is supposed to be the next great thing since "Sliced Bread".

There is not a better time or a better driver to choose than Austin Dillon to drive the No 3. Give the kid a break, he is young and looks to be ready to handle the pressure. He has been groomed to drive and drive well. I am not saying Dillon will fill Earnhardt's shoes, no one can ever do that. But If Dale Earnhardt Jr is good with it and gave his blessing on it, everyone else should be too.