Now that Austin Dillon will be the first to drive the legendary No. 3 Chevrolet since the late Dale Earnhardt was killed in the 2001 season-opening Daytona 500, we thought it would be fitting to give Dillon something to consider: all the championships Earnhardt won in Cup racing.
Earnhardt and Richard Petty are tied for the most Cup crowns with seven apiece. Jimmie Johnson is right behind them, earning his sixth Cup title this past season.
Earnhardt had an interesting way of winning championships. With the exception of his first in 1980 for team owner Rod Osterlund, the other six championships all came in sets of two (in other words back-to-back years) for team owner Richard Childress.
Had it not been for a bit of misfortune or not enough luck, Earnhardt likely could have won another championship or two, having finished second in 1989, 1995 and 2000, his final season before his death at Daytona. He also finished third in 1988.
Let's reflect on Earnhardt's seven championships, ranking them from seventh to the best of all.
Photos used are not necessarily indicative of the seasons they represent.