TDR Dominates Big Gator Nationals Championship

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

For the second-consecutive year, Team Dillon Racing won the DIRTcar Nationals Gator Championship for UMP Modifieds at the Volusia Speedway Park. This year, however, it was Austin Dillon beating out last year’s champion, his brother Ty Dillon, for the Big Gator crown.

Ty started seventh on the field via a post-heat redraw for positions in the No. 41 Ferris Mowers/Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats UMP dirt modified. His brother Austin drew ninth in the No. 3 Bad Boy Buggies/National Boiler Chevrolet lining them up front-to-back for the 30-lap feature.

Once the green flag dropped, the dirt started to fly as the Dillon boys made their way to the front. Austin got by Ty and then the others to take the lead before Ty eventually joined his brother to run in the top-two positions.

A late-race caution bunched up the field and left two laps of green flag racing to decide the winner. On the restart, Austin kept his car low to shut out Ty and the two even made contact a few times as they vied for the checkered flag.

But, Austin stayed in the lead and earned his third, of six races, victory. Ty didn’t seem to upset by his runner-up finish as he rushed to the No. 3 car in victory lane to spray his brother with a cold Yuengling Light Lager.

“It was on a rail, it was really fast,” said Austin, who also drives the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet for his grandfather at Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. “I guess Ty got to me in lap traffic, I didn’t know he was there at the end. That was fun and was a heck of a race.

“It’s awesome for Team Dillon Racing to have a one-two finish. I’ve been coming down here for quite a few years now and to finally win a Big Gator trophy is incredible, it really is a great series they have here at Volusia.

“Ty’s been taking the Big Gators home, he’ll be fine until next year. That was awesome, this is a special place. Coming from ninth like we did with Ty right in front of us on the initial start was awesome.”

“I had my head on straight for that race. When the opportunities were there, I took them. The bottom just kept coming to me and I took advantage of them to gain positions. I like it down there.”

Attending the night’s events were Mike Dillon, their father, and Richard Childress, their grandfather. Dillon is the president of TDR and said it was a little nerve racking watching the boys race each other so hard.

“At one point, Ty got underneath Austin and they made contact in Turn 3,” he said. “I thought we were going take each other out and give the whole thing away. It was fun to watch, and just glad it turned out the way it did.

“These guys at TDR do a lot of hard work in the off season and it’s nice to see it pay off. There are 50 cars that come down to compete from all over, so the competition level is way up there.

“We couldn’t do this without the help of our TDR partners like Bad Boy Buggies, Ferris Mowers, UNOH, Bass Pro Shops, National Boilers, Cometic Gasket and Klotz. It’s even more fun to reward them with a big win like this.”