Johnson gets high praise from Chlidress

Car owner Richard Childress. (Getty Images)

Car owner Richard Childress. (Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Jimmie Johnson got a ringing endorsement from car owner Richard Childress, who fielded the No. 3 Chevrolets in which Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven championships.

“I think he’ll go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest,” Childress said in Friday’s media session that included fellow owners Rick Hendrick and Joe Gibbs. “He’s got many good years ahead of him. I think he’ll set a lot of records before he decides to hang it up.”

Asked when he planned to announce 2014 plans for his grandson, Austin Dillon, Childress turned coy.

“We’ll probably announce something here in the next few weeks,” Childress said, declining to confirm rampant speculation that Dillon would drive the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“Everybody is just speculating right now. I guess that’s the right word.”

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