Richard Childress Racing
MRN.com: Ty Dillon Thunders to Daytona
February 19, 2014
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Ty Dillon has been on a mission since arriving in Florida.
Prior to claiming the overall UMP Modified Title at the DIRTcar Natonals on Tuesday night, by winning four out of six features at Volusia Speedway Park, Dillon took on another mission ... this time in the air.
He flew in one of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' F-16s with Major Michael Fisher, the advance pilot/narrator for the squadron. It was an hour-long flight over the East Coast of Florida. Following a morning of training and learning about the fighter jet, Dillon blasted into the sky over Daytona Beach International Airport with a 5-G pull straight into a 15,500-foot vertical climb.
Once airborne, Fisher radioed to Ty, "Welcome to my office, bud."
Fisher took the jet south to Cape Canaveral, where he performed all the maneuvers the team performs during air shows.
"It was awesome," Dillon said after climbing from the cockpit. "Getting that first pull in was quite the feat. From then on, it was just an amazing experience. I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to do this. It's something I will never forget. I can't thank the Thunderbirds enough."
Some of the maneuvers Fisher performed were loops, barrel rolls, "knife edges" and inverted flat passes. "He did a great job of letting me know so I could prepare," Dillon said. "We went through a whole class for what you have to do when you're pulling those kinds of G's because your body is not used to that.
"I never felt like I was going to get sick. Sometimes, when you're pulling 9 G's, you're straining hard and feeling like you're going in and out."
Fisher will be joined by the rest of the USAF Thunderbirds, which will provide the flyover for the 56th annual Daytona 500, on Friday when they land at Daytona's airport that sits right behind the backstretch of the 2.5-mile superspeedway. "The team's excited to come back to Daytona," Fisher said. "We were here in 2013, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we're looking for a good flyover this year. Hopefully, the weather is a little bit better. We're looking forward to representing America's airmen on Sunday."
With a high-speed flight and a dominating performance in the DIRTcar Nationals under his belt this week, Dillon has his sights set on Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
"I got a little raw speed in before we go ride around Daytona and hopefully, get us our first win," Dillon said.
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300, with live streaming at MRN.com, starting at 12:45 p.m. (ET).
To read the article as it appears on MRN.com, CLICK HERE.