Richard Childress Racing
Ty Dillon has brother's team but carries his own style to Nationwide Series
February 23, 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ty Dillon has the same crew that his brother, Austin, had last year in winning the Nationwide Series title.
It would appear that he is stepping into a perfect situation. But just because his last name is Dillon that doesn’t mean he’s an Austin clone.
There are many who believe that Ty is more of a natural driver — he won the Volusia Speedway Park dirt modified Speedweeks championship this week — but his hammer-down style also seems to get him into a little more trouble.
Last year, Dillon finished second in the Camping World Truck Series, where he had 12 top-10 finishes — seven fewer than champion Matt Crafton. So while Dillon had more wins (two to Crafton’s one) and more top-fives (nine to Crafton’s seven), Dillon fell short of the title.
In nine Nationwide starts last year, Dillon had just one top-10 finish.
“(My style) will change a little bit for me in the Nationwide Series,” said Dillon, who turns 22 next week. “The truck series is a hammer-down series.
“You’ve got to get all you can when you can. I think I brought a little bit of that to the Nationwide Series last year and it hurt me in some situations.”
When looking at championship contenders for the Nationwide Series, Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, has to be on the list as he is working with the Danny Stockman-led crew at RCR. But last year, Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne worked with the same crew that won two titles with Ricky Stenhosue Jr. but couldn’t match the results.
Ty Dillon is familiar with Stockman, having won three races with Stockman as his crew chief over the years. He hopes that will accelerate their learning curve.
“He’s very open to my opinion on things,” Dillon said. “The communication between us is going to be great. Austin did his things his way, but we are very similar in a lot of things we do and how we drive.
“Danny and all my guys understand I have to learn my way and I am a little bit different driver.”
The key will be communication. Austin Dillon won the 2013 Nationwide title even though he didn’t win a race because he kept his car clean and improved it during races.
“We do different things at different times — not that one is better or worse,” Dillon said. “I can get a little more aggressive at times, maybe. Austin is very aggressive, too.
“But just driving styles and the way we want our cars set up and our verbiage on the weekend setting up the car and getting everything right, that is the kind of thing that makes the difference.”
Dillon has spent a great deal of time in the shop to learn his new crew. He knew them personally but didn’t know them as teammates.
“It’s a big change for me,” Dillon said. “I kind of grew with a group of guys over the past couple of years. The cool thing is with me and Austin, we treat our teams like family. We’ve spent a lot of time on and off the track with our guys.
“Being a brother of his and me and him being great friends, I’ve spent so much time with his guys just as much as I’ve spent with my guys in the past. I know them very well. We are very close. But we also have to get that racing relationship going, too.”
To read Bob Pockrass' article as it appears on SportingNews.com, CLICK HERE.