May 5th, 2016
With the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 race weeks fast approaching, Austin Dillon joined forces with NFC Champion kicker Graham Gano to officially kick off the month of May at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
Dillon, the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet SS in the Sprint Cup Series, tried his hand at Gano’s trade, kicking footballs through the field goal post. Afterward, the Carolina Panther took some laps around the 1.5-mile speedway with Dillon behind the wheel.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Gano said of his ride around the track. “I’ve never gone that fast. I can’t even find the words. I was trying to get it all on camera, but I was like, ‘I need to put my hand down and just enjoy this.’”
A huge Panthers fan, Dillon was put to the test holding the ball while Gano booted it through the uprights. For his efforts, Gano presented Dillon with the cleats he wore during Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos. The Panthers’ kicker converted 30 of 36 field goals last season, and led the NFL with a 65.7-yard kickoff average.
“It was a blast,” Dillon said. “I love football and I’m a huge fan of Graham and the entire Panthers team. It was fun kicking field goals with him. His position is such a mental position, because you’ve got to go in front of so many fans who are looking at you to make that kick. He does it so often.”