Richard Childress Racing
July 3, 2012
Austin Dillon Event Preview: Daytona 250 powered by Coca-Cola
"I love drafting. It's so much fun. You can really make a lot of ground by picking the right lines and watching how people move up through the field to make yourself better and I've really taken a hold of it."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet
Daytona 250 powered by Coca-Cola – July 6, 2012
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, Fla.
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week’s Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 478 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. This is the same Chevrolet that Dillon raced to a fifth-place finish after starting fifth in the Nationwide Series’ season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February. This former Kevin Harvick, Inc. chassis was driven by Clint Bowyer at Daytona in February 2011, where he earned the pole and finished second, and at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2011, where Bowyer started second but finished 22nd after being involved in a multi-car incident.
Dillon at Daytona … In his lone Nationwide Series appearance at Daytona International Speedway, Dillon survived numerous multi-car incidents to earn a fifth-place finish in the Drive4COPD 300 in February. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender started the race in the fifth position and ran anywhere from the second to the 31st positions during the 120-lap race, gaining valuable experience drafting within large packs of cars. He also has two starts at the 2.5-mile track in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, earning the pole award in 2011.
Red, White and Blue! … Dillon’s paint scheme this weekend highlights the new NRA Museum that is set to open at Bass Pro Shops’ flagship store in Springfield, Mo in early 2013. The 7,000 square foot NRA museum will house the finest firearms collection in the world and offer visitors the unique opportunity to view some of America’s most significant firearm treasures and learn historic facts about the NRA.
Dash 4 Cash … The Daytona 250 powered by Coca-Cola will officially kick off the 2012 Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash bonus award program. This year’s D4C program consists of a qualifying race at Daytona this weekend followed by four consecutive D4C races at New Hampshire International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway. The top-four finishing drivers to receive championship points at Daytona will qualify for the first D4C race at New Hampshire. The highest finisher of those four drivers at New Hampshire will win the $100,000 D4C Award payout and automatically qualify for the next event at Chicagoland. The top-three finishing drivers to receive championship driver points at New Hampshire will qualify for the next event at Chicagoland. Those rules will apply for the remaining three events. If one driver wins the previous D4C awards and wins the Iowa race, that driver will receive an additional $600,000 bonus. Fans have the opportunity to participate in the action as well by entering the Nationwide Series $100,000 Sweepstakes at www.nascar.com/dash4cash. Four lucky entrants will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the final D4C event at Iowa Speedway. The four fans will be randomly paired with the four eligible D4C drivers for that race, and the fan whose driver wins the D4C award also will go home with a check for $100,000.
The Season So Far … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Dillon has completed 99.12 percent of Laps on the Lead Lap, leading all competitors. He has completed 93.5 percent of his Laps in the Top 15, ranking him second and has an Average Running Position of 8.746 in the season’s 15 contested Nationwide Series races, ranking him second among all drivers. The Nationwide Series rookie maintains a Driver Rating of 103.9, ranking him third, is the fourth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run and is ranked fourth in the Fastest Laps Run category with 191 laps so far this season. Dillon is also ranked fourth in the Laps Led category with 220 laps led, has the fifth-fastest Speed in Traffic, the sixth-fastest Green Flag Speed, is the sixth-fastest Driver Early in a Run, ranks sixth in Quality Passes with 594 and is seventh-Fastest on Restarts.
Get to the Points … Dillon is second in the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, trailing RCR Teammate Elliott Sadler by four points. Dillon currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.
Meet Dillon … Dillon will participate in the Nationwide Series autograph session on Friday, July 6 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Sprint FANZONE in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. For more information, visit DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.
Questions, Please … Dillon is scheduled to answer questions from the gathered media in the Daytona International Speedway Infield Media Center at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
First Win … In a dominating performance that culminated with his first career Nationwide Series win, Dillon set a record for most laps led and lapped all but six competitors in the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The 22-year-old earned a perfect driver rating of 150.0 and crossed the finish line 9.852 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, setting a new track record for the largest margin of victory. The win marked the first time that a No. 3 entry has won in the Nationwide Series since Dale Earnhardt Jr. did so in July 2010.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:
There were a lot of wrecks during the Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February. How did you manage a fifth-place finish among all of those wrecks?
“We sorted through the wrecks at Daytona International Speedway in February and ended up with a fifth-place finish. I have a great spotter, Andy Houston, and we made a good move there at the end that put us in position to earn a top-five finish. Truthfully, coming to the finish line in that race I thought we had more laps left so I thought we were in a really good spot. That race was a blast. We were able to push Dale Earnhardt Jr. out to the front and that was really cool for me and for a lot of race fans. Learning how to tandem draft was fun. The cars can’t push as long as they could earlier this year. After Talladega though, I learned a lot. Hopefully, that will help us during a late-race restart, and getting in line and being able to find a partner that will go with you at the end. I put myself in a great position at Talladega Superspeedway for most of the race but I got in a wreck at the end and put ourselves in a bad position so we weren’t able to finish the race where we needed to. We ran all the way up to the top-five and stayed there. With three laps remaining I think we were running third or fourth and that was really fun.”
What part of restrictor plate racing do you like the most?
“I love drafting. It’s so much fun. You can really make a lot of ground by picking the right lines and watching how people move up through the field to make yourself better and I’ve really taken a hold of it. I think we’ve put ourselves in great position in the late stages of a lot of these restrictor plate races and have had shots to win so I think we’re coming close to a plate win.”
How do you feel about the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash program?
“It’s awesome. I’ve been waiting for these Dash 4 Cash races. I just want to get our team in a qualifying position. Daytona International Speedway is going to be a wild Nationwide Series race and anyone can put themselves in position going into New Hampshire Motor Speedway to win $100,000. I’m going to try and stay out of trouble early so that I can have a shot at the end to be one of those top four that qualify for the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash at New Hampshire.”
What did winning your first Nationwide Series race mean to you?
“You cherish those moments. Every victory is so special because you never know if you are going to be fortunate enough to visit victory lane again, so we certainly cherish our wins at RCR. I loved seeing all of the guys come and congratulate our team in Victory Lane. Crew chiefs Ernie Cope and Luke Lambert came over and congratulated us. Our team works together so well in the Nationwide Shop. It’s really cool. We use the same information. We all work towards a common goal. We all have our team meetings together so everyone knows exactly what everyone else has in their cars going into each race and we’re competitive so it pushes all of us. We can’t wait to get to the track each and every weekend to work together.”
Did you think you would get a win so soon?
“We’ve been working so hard. We have pushed ourselves and have never been satisfied with a top-five finish. We had the confidence and pushed ourselves and that is how it happened. Once you get that first win behind you, you want to win all of the time. That’s how it felt after I won my first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 2010. We have some good tracks coming up so I hope we can do it again. It feels so awesome to show the fans that we want to put the No. 3 in Victory Lane.”
How did you celebrate your win?
“We all went to the lake on Saturday to celebrate. The entire team was there. I made a bet with my engineer before the race at Kentucky Speedway. I got a buzz cut last week and the whole team was making fun of it so I bet my engineer that if we won the race I could shave his hair. My engineer loves his hair and always has, but now he has about the same amount of hair that I do, which isn’t much. I think he would take that bet again if we could win every week though.”