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Richard Childress: Tragedy and triumph

Updated: August 20, 2010, 10:01 AM ET
By Ed Hinton | ESPN.com

Richard Childress was 5 when his daddy died. "From then on, I considered myself a man," he told me once. "Had to. There was nobody to go home to and whine, 'Johnny whipped my ass today.' I had to fight my own battles."

He still does, always will, even turning 65 next month at the helm of NASCAR's most resurgent team, hurtling back toward the pinnacle for the first time since Dale Earnhardt was his driver.

From first grade on, Childress cleaned the lunchroom and swept ...

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