NASCAR’s Richard Childress Honored With Hunting Heritage Award For Preserving Hunting Tradition, Conservation Efforts

by Suzanne Halliburton

Richard Childress, the legendary NASCAR team owner, received an award from the National Wild Turkey Federation this week. The group honored the former driver’s long-time contributions to hunting and conservation.

The group presented Childress with its Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award at its annual gathering this week. The federation annually recognizes people who contribute to “conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage.” The award is named for the federation’s former chairwoman.

“It is an honor to accept the NWTF’s Lynn Boykin award,” Childress said. “To me, this award represents NWTF members’ continued commitment to nurture and grow the hunting heritage many of us enjoy. “

Richard Childress also said the award “represents a promise to future generations to safeguard the relationship between humans and nature. In this rich soil, we … grow future conservationists as we inspire others to be a part of the outdoors community. I am proud to be a part of the NWTF and to receive this prestigious award.”

Turkey Federation Sited Richard Childress and His Branding With Cabela’s

The federation sited Childress’ work with his friend, Johnny Morris. Richard Childress and Morris gave NASCAR better branding opportunities through the years. Morris founded Bass Pro Shop and owns Cabelas, the chain of superstores that caters to hunters and fishermen.

Plus, Childress donates money from his Racing Museum’s Wildlife and Conservation Gallery. While he donates to NWTF, he also gives to groups like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation and Ducks Unlimited.

NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said Richard Childress “distinguished himself as a philanthropist. Humphries also described Childress as a “steward for conservation and our hunting heritage.”

“He has become a strong ally of the NWTF,” Humphries said. Two areas where Childress helped are in hunters’ rights and support of wildlife habitat enhancement.

Richard Childress never won as a driver. Conversely, as an owner, his teams dominate. His top driver was legendary Dale Earnhardt. Together, they won championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994. Tragically, Earnhardt died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona. This was the 20th anniversary of Earnhardt’s death.

Childress and his family also are philanthropists. He and his wife established the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. It’s goal is to reduce death and disability after injury to children 18 and younger.

Childress had been on the board of directors at the NRA and was on track to be the group’s president. But he resigned in 2019. He’s also involved with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.