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5-time champion Richard Childress Racing getting out of Nationwide Series

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By Lee Montgomery

NEWTON, Iowa – Richard Childress Racing is getting out of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a series it dominated as recently as four years ago.

Team owner Richard Childress said this week at Iowa Speedway that RCR would run two teams in the Camping World Truck Series for Childress’ grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon.

"I want to give the grandsons an opportunity to run," Childress said. "We’ve got Ty and Austin, and they’re not going to be ready for Nationwide. We could’ve kept chasing Nationwide; we had sponsorship we could’ve kept going with. We didn’t have enough sponsorship to run two teams, and running one, it didn’t really make sense."

Childress started the season with John Wes Townley in the No. 21 Nationwide car, but sidelined Townley after the young driver had problems on the track. The car ran more races with other drivers, but now Morgan Shepherd is fielding the No. 21 for RCR.

Townley has since been released, Childress confirmed.

"I guess he’s been released," Childress said. "I know he’s been released from his contract to be able to drive for someone else."

Townley is driving for RAB Racing at Iowa this weekend, with sponsorship from Zaxby’s. The car is painted similar to the No. 21, which is running without Zaxby’s logos.

Childress said the new Nationwide Series cars the team built will be used by Kevin Harvick Inc. in a deal between the two teams.

RCR has 55 victories, three drivers championships and two owners titles in its Nationwide Series history. Clint Bowyer won the 2008 championship, with Kevin Harvick winning it in 2001 and 2006.