Brothers disagree on how much dirt-track racing NASCAR should have ROSSBURG, Ohio -- They're brothers, Austin and Ty Dillon , so of course they sometimes disagree. There were certainly a few differing opinions during an Abbott and Costello-esque joint media availability with the two drivers at Eldora Speedway in advance of Wednesday night's 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic. The mid-week race is the lone yearly foray onto dirt for one of NASCAR's three national series, and Wednesday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the half-mile, high-banked dirt oval owned by Tony Stewart is the third consecutive year the trucks stop in western Ohio. While some of the discussion between the brothers was humorous -- both considered themselves the favorite to win, with Austin asking Ty to go on the record and putting his recorded answer on Instagram -- there was a very real difference of opinion on a talking point throughout the NASCAR community. Should there be more races on dirt, and should the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and/or the NASCAR XFINITY Series be involved? "My opinion is, I think this event has gained so much exposure and has done such a good job for the Truck Series," Ty Dillon said. "I know everyone wants to see more dirt races throughout the series, but I think we need to keep it unique to the Truck Series. What it is now is an event everybody looks forward to, and I think if you start adding too many of them, you're going to kind of cloud the specialness of the event. "And I think this is a prestigious event -- at least it is to me and the folks in the dirt world. You start adding more to the schedule, it takes a little bit away from it for me personally." It took less than three seconds for Ty's older brother to offer his retort and draw in Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage -- in town for the event, and hanging out in the media center -- into his argument. "I disagree -- guess what, we're brothers," Austin Dillon said with a chuckle. "I don't know, I like these races and I think they're fun. We've got a guy in the back (Gossage) who could make it happen if we wanted a dirt race in Texas. "It brings something new to our sport, changes it up and brings new fans who are curious to see what it's like. And it's good racing. Look at the highlights of the last two years racing here and you could probably put that in any highlight reel that NASCAR's had in the last 10 years." MORE: Ty makes light of Keselowski's asphalt background Austin Dillon won the inaugural event in 2013, with Darrell Wallace Jr . taking top honors in 2014 after outlasting Kyle Larson ; Ty Dillon finished fifth last year. The 2013 victory for Austin Dillon , who drives the No. 3 Chevrolet full time in the Sprint Cup Series, came at NASCAR's first national series event at a dirt track since 1970, when Richard Petty won at North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Austin and Ty may disagree on NASCAR's dirt future, but there was one resounding theme in which there was harmony between the two -- and everyone in the garage area Wednesday agree. "This event is very special," Austin Dillon said. "I think it's awesome to see a dirt track develop like this. I'm really thankful for what Tony (Stewart) is doing here." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Dillon hints he would have wrecked Hamlin if given the chance Saturday LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin got the best of Austin Dillon in Saturday’s XFINITY Series Lakes Region 200 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, moving him out of the way in the corner with less than 30 laps to go to pick up his second win of the season. Don’t expect Dillon to forget about it. WATCH: Bad blood continues between Hamlin, Dillon “I missed one corner; I’ll take the blame for that. I got a little tight. … He got to me; figured he was going to race, but he never even wanted to,” said Dillon , who finished runner-up to Hamlin. “He wrecked his teammate ( Kyle Busch ) and then proceeded to try and wreck me. And if I would’ve gotten back to him, it would’ve happened to him. “What is racing if you can’t race side-by-side for more than a corner? He never even went through a corner with me. The whole race. Didn’t want to. He just moved me. Missed the corner; wrecked me. I’m fine with racing rough. I promise you I can do it to anybody. But if we’re going to race like that, I need to know before you get into the first corner, you know? Give me a corner, at least.” While the video shows Hamlin dive into the corner in an effort to gain position on Dillon ’s No. 33 Chevrolet and then drift back up and make contact, it was contact that Hamlin explained in full detail in his post-race press conference as being Dillon ’s fault. That said, it was also contact that Hamlin likely won’t lose sleep over, since he felt Dillon jumped the restart when his No. 20 Toyota was the control car. “I did feel like he left early. I was the control car and I was going to wait,” Hamlin said. “I typically start early in the box most restarts. I was going to wait until late in the box but he took off right in the middle of the box and short of just stacking the field up and not going, I didn’t want to wreck everybody behind me, so I just took off and continued that he was just going to jump the start and really nothing was going to be done about it.” Hamlin paused, before continuing to further explain why he shouldn’t take the blame. “There’s a misconception, I think, at this track on what responsibility the outside car has. The bottom lane at this track is the middle; it’s not the yellow line. Nobody runs on the apron at this race track. When you’re the outside car and you choose to run the middle and somebody is underneath you, you run a risk of that car more than likely washing up into you. Everyone’s done it. Austin ’s done it. Kyle’s done it sometimes. We’ve all done it. “When that outside car chooses to hold you down and pinch you down, typically they get the bad end of the deal. I got the worst end of the deal in the first one with Kyle. When a car is on the bottom, I typically move up to the third lane to give the person an opportunity to stay underneath me. I did it with Kyle earlier in the race. I think he passed me twice and I kind of threw my hands up, moved up high and let him have the spot. With him and Austin , they both kind of ran the middle, trying to protect their position like they’re supposed to but it gives me just no opportunity to save my car. “I’m already committed to the bottom at that point. Once you let off the throttle and you turn down in, you’re hoping they give you the true bottom line, which is the middle, but when they don’t it’s a ‘you pinch, you pay’ type problem.” The extra wrinkle to all of this: Hamlin and Dillon are both full-time Sprint Cup Series drivers who still have to race on Sunday in the 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). And if Dillon ’s post-race temperament was any indication, he certainly wouldn’t shy away from any contact. Only thing is, Dillon , winless and mired in 21st in the standings, is the one that can’t afford to wreck his race car seeking retaliation. Hamlin has his Chase for the Sprint Cup all but wrapped up via a Martinsville win earlier this year. Still, is he worried? “Not really. I have a win. I have nothing to lose, basically,” Hamlin said. “It’s just heat of the moment. Obviously, as upset as he was that I moved him out of the way, I was just as upset that he jumped the restart. We’re both racing for a win and I’ve been on the other side of somebody moving me out of the way for a race win inside 20 to go and especially on a short track. It happens. It’s part of short-track racing. The two instances when I got into both Kyle and Austin , I didn’t wreck anyone. Definitely didn’t spin anyone out.” This isn’t the first time the pair have had their issues. Hamlin and Dillon got into it at Texas Motor Speedway two years ago and exchanged heated words post-race. Those words stuck with Dillon , the grandson of team owner Richard Childress. “I’ve reworked a relationship with Denny,” Dillon said. “He called me a spoiled rich kid in Texas two years ago and I hate it, you know what I mean? He said just the last name and I said, ‘My last name is Dillon , not Childress, but he is my grandfather.’ I always act with class. Everybody in the media knows that. And I’ve worked my way here just like anybody else. But Denny, acting like that, what does he want me to call him, you know? I don’t do that. I know how to act.” When asked in his press conference what Dillon should call him, Hamlin had one simple, two-word response. “A winner.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 3 crew chief talks pressure, adjusting to rule changes RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. -- Austin Dillon managed a weak smile. "I'm pretty cooked, really," the Richard Childress Racing driver said as he leaned against a car on pit road, moments after Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway had ended. Dillon finished eighth on an unseasonably hot day at NHMS. It was his second top 10 in three races (he was seventh earlier this month at Daytona) and just his third of the season. The No. 3 team needed a good finish. Dillon needed a good finish. It's been something of a trying year for the 25-year-old. Now, perhaps, the team has something to build on just past the halfway point of the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Time will tell. "We really did," he said. "I'm just proud to finish one off strong like that. When you get a little momentum, it goes a long way." Carl Edwards finished seventh, Jeff Gordon ninth. Both stopped by to chat briefly with Dillon , recounting their race-ending battle on the 1.058-mile track. "It was a good momentum-building weekend for us, a good day in points," crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe said. " Austin's been beat up. He hasn't had really good finishes and he's under a lot of pressure just like all of us. "I try my hardest and I don't let the pressure get to me. It's tough. It's a tough job. Especially being on the 3 (team), working for Richard and having big sponsors like we do with Dow and American Ethanol … so many big partners. At the end of the day, you've got to perform." His top-10 result moved Dillon up two spots in the points standings – he'll head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next weekend 19th in the standings and still searching for his first Sprint Cup win. Although he qualified 24th in the 43-car field, Dillon was working his way forward and was 16 th after pitting under green when a fire on the No. 7 of Alex Bowman brought out the second caution flag of the race. Those who hadn't pitted under green made their stops and when the field was reset, Dillon was nearly outside the top 30. Slowly, he began to work his way back toward the top 10. "We finally got our track position (back) halfway through the race," Dillon said. "That helped the most." Now, he said, "it's just about trying to figure out how to get it earlier, qualifying better." Labbe, the Daytona 500 winning crew chief for Michael Waltrip in 2003, came back on the road full-time to lead the No. 3 team in late June at Sonoma. Previously, he was overseeing Richard Childress Racing 's research and development program. "It's been tough … because the first race (back) was Sonoma, the next race was Daytona, and the next race was Kentucky with new rules. This was really the first race that's been 'normal' racing," Labbe said. "Now we go to Indy (and another rules package). It's been hard to go through four concepts with a new driver. It's been a challenge but my guys have done a really good job. "Everyone at RCR is working hard to make the cars better, faster, lighter, more aerodynamic. "The good thing is we get to go to Eldora. We built a truck in our shop for Austin . Chad Haney (car chief on the No. 3) is going to crew chief it. So there's a little play day coming up." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get the content from the wild wreck at Daytona to future safety measures July 5: Austin Dillon crashes at the Coke Zero 400 The dramatic final lap in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola ended with a dangerous wreck involving Austin Dillon . The No. 3 was caught in a massive multi-car accident just after the field was taking the checkered flag. Dillon , surprisingly, walked away just fine but said he was prepared to "be really sore.'' " Read the full story July 5: Austin Dillon in his own words on Daytona crash After much talk about Dillon ’s wreck at Daytona, he finally was able to give a firsthand account of the accident and let everyone know that he was going to be just fine, physically and mentally. Austin was more concerned about the fans in the stands who were affected by the wreck. " Read the full story July 5: Daytona president responds to wreck: 'The fence worked' Daytona International Speedway president, Joie Chitwood III, told reporters that following the Austin Dillon wreck, 13 spectators had to be seen by medical personnel. Chitwood said that, in terms of safety procedures, "we'll learn from it, we'll analyze it, and we'll round up our engineering team and see if there's any additional things we can learn to get better the next time." " Read the full story July 6: Johnson: 'I'm shocked [he's] even alive' See Jimmie Johnson talk about being surprised Austin Dillon wasn’t seriously injured during a big wreck at Daytona. " Watch the video July 6: Drivers react to dramatic wreck in Daytona finish Watch Denny Hamlin , Jimmie Johnson and Landon Cassill talk about the big crash on the final lap of the Coke Zero 400 . " Watch their reactions July 6: France responds to Daytona wreck: 'Working to make racing safer and better' Brian France spoke to SiriusXM Radio the Monday following the Daytona wreck stating that NASCAR is taking all precautionary measures possible. He said that NASCAR is working on solutions to avoid similar crashes in the future, at the organization's R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. " Read the full story July 6: Ives breaks down moments after Dillon's wreck See exclusive footage of Austin Dillon ’s scary crash and listen to Greg Ives break down the moments following, as as the No. 88 crew rushed to the No. 3 car's aid. " Watch his interview July 7: Ty Dillon 's reaction to his brother's wild wreck Austin Dillon discusses his brother, Ty’s, reaction to the last-lap wreck at Daytona. " Hear what he said July 7: Austin Dillon : 'You feel like Superman' Two days after the crash, Austin Dillon said that he was holding up well and feeling good. He said that he had seen the video multiple times and seen the replays. "It’s a wicked crash," he said. " Read the full story July 7: No Bull: Dillion explains post-wreck gesture Austin Dillon had quite the grand entrance upon exiting his car after his emotional Daytona wreck and it left the public puzzled. He later explained his questionable gesture as a tribute to Lane Frost, who Dillon described as "one of the best bull riders of all time." " Read the full story July 7: O'Donnell: NASCAR looking at Dillon's car NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" and said that Dillon ’s car and parts were at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, where they were under investigation. " Read the full story July 8: Junior responds to Austin's crash: 'It's an awful feeling' Despite winning the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola, Dale Earnhardt Jr . was more concerned about Austin Dillon than he was about celebrating in Vctory Lane. Junior admitted to being on the verge of tears the night of the wreck and wanted to make sure that everyone affected was OK. " Read the full story July 8: 88 crew recalls frenzy to check on Dillon Not only was Dale Earnhardt Jr . preoccupied with making sure that Austin was OK after the wreck but the entire No. 88 team was, as well. Junior’s team didn’t hold the typical post-race win celebration, but reacted with concern and worried emotions. " Read the full story
Early scrape doesn't slow No. 33 Chevy, which leads 1-2-3 RCR sweep RELATED: Practice 1 results " Final practice results Austin Dillon recovered from a brush from the wall in opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice to top the final practice leaderboard Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dillon drove his freshly repaired Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet to a best lap of 130.707 mph on the 1.058-mile track. He'll be aiming for his fourth XFINITY victory of the season in Saturday's Lakes Region 200 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). Childress Chevrolets swept the top three in the 85-minute session. Brendan Gaughan landed the second-fastest lap at 129.498 mph in the No. 62 Chevy, and teammate Brian Scott was third-fastest (129.459 mph) in the No. 2 Camaro. Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski -- who collectively have won the last six XFINITY races at New Hampshire -- both secured spots in the top 10 on the leaderboard. Busch -- an XFINITY winner at the Loudon, N.H., track from 2009-11 and 2013 -- was fifth-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. Keselowski, the 2012 and defending race winner, was seventh-best in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Daniel Suarez landed the fourth-best spot with a late mock qualifying run in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. J.J. Yeley, who started first last weekend after a qualifying rainout at Kentucky Speedway, was sixth-fastest in the JGL Racing No. 28 Toyota. Defending series champion Chase Elliott piloted the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet to the 11th-fastest lap. Series points leader Chris Buescher was 12th-fastest in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford. Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying is set for an 11:15 a.m. ET start, to be televised on NBC Sports Network. Keselowski tops early New Hampshire practice Brad Keselowski roared to the fastest lap in Friday's first practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski, last week's XFINITY winner at Kentucky, posted a lap of 130.122 mph in the No. 22 Ford in preparation for Saturday's Lakes Region 200 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), the 17th of 33 races this season. His top time was a solid .273-seconds better than second-fastest Denny Hamlin , who ran 128.920 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Keselowski has prevailed in two of the last three XFINITY Series races on the 1.058-mile track. Kyle Busch , seventh-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota, has won four of the series' last six New Hampshire events. Ryan Sieg was third-fastest in the RSS Racing No. 39 Chevrolet. NASCAR Next products Ben Rhodes and Daniel Suarez were fourth and fifth respectively in the 55-minute session. Austin Dillon , a three-time winner in the XFINITY Series this year, posted the eighth-fastest lap but damaged the right side of his Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet after he scraped the outside wall at the exit of Turn 4. His brother, Ty Dillon , third in the XFINITY Series standings, also made contact later in the session but with less damage to his No. 3 Chevy. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin don't see eye to eye on the contact made on Lap 179 as Hamlin moved Dillon to take the lead, which lead him to win the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon recaps a strong run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as he finished eighth a day after a frustrating XFINITY Series finish.
Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin talk about their past differences and how contact in the Lakes Region 200 adds more fuel to the fire.
Tire changer David Mayo: 'Really relieved when I saw he was aware' RELATED: Dillon discusses how he is feeling " See the wreck " Junior's chilling reaction The normal feeling of elation a pit crew member gets while watching his car take the checkered flag never came for members of the No. 88 team as they watched Dale Earnhardt Jr . win the Coke Zero 400 early Monday morning. The usual joy was replaced by much starker emotions once Austin Dillon 's No. 3 Chevrolet went airborne and into the catchfence in the midst of a huge crash -- worry … shock … fear. Then even those emotions were replaced by a greater urgency -- the want and need to help. The men on Earnhardt Jr.'s team -- Nick Covey, Rowdy Harrell, Dustin Lineback, David Mayo, Joe Slingerland and Matt Tyrrell -- were among the first responders to check on Dillon , who lay in a battered, busted, upside-down car without anybody at the track knowing if he was OK. Or not. They sprinted toward the remnants of the vehicle, as did folks from Casey Mears ' No. 13 crew, with front tire changer David Mayo getting to the car first and peering inside. RELATED: Learn more about the 88 pit crew "When I got to the car, I immediately looked in. Right away, I saw his eyes, I saw he was wide awake," Mayo recounted to NASCAR.com days after the frightening wreck. "It looked like he was dazed a little bit, but he was aware of what was going on. I kind of talked to him a little bit; my crew chief (Greg Ives) was talking to me over the radio, telling me what I should ask him and that if he was all right. "I definitely was really relieved when I saw he was aware. That was probably one of the nastiest wrecks I've ever seen. Seeing him moving around inside the cockpit, it makes you feel relieved right away. The safety NASCAR has done with the way guys build the car now, it's huge." That wreck and aftermath has become the talking point of the race, which started after 11:30 p.m. ET due to rain and ended at approximately 2:42 a.m. with the 12-time Most Popular Driver taking the checkered flag at perhaps the most historic track on the circuit. But much like Junior, who immediately radioed to ask if Dillon and the fans were OK and then had a muted celebration in Victory Lane, his crew also was thankful there were no more injuries than there were in winning for the second time in 2015. "After we found out everybody was all right, we got back to our pit box and had a little celebration, but not a normal celebration," rear tire changer Joe Slingerland said. "We kind of hugged each other and said 'good job.' We felt like that was the only kind of celebration we needed; yeah, we were able to win the race, but what it all comes back to is, we were all thankful everybody was safe and no one got hurt badly." RELATED: Ives breaks down moments after crash Their collective quick thinking and empathy has garnered kudos from a wide spectrum of people. A fan who was on pit road watching the end of the race near the No. 88 pit box and witnessed the crew's actions wrote a letter to Hendrick Motorsports President Marshall Carlson, complimenting their courage. In the social media world, fans, fellow crew members and drivers alike all commended both crews for their collective actions. Ty Dillon , Austin's brother, called them heroes. I could never thank those crew men enough who ran out right away to check on my brother you guys are my hero hope everyone involved is ok. — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) July 6, 2015 "I think we've heard a little bit of that talk," Slingerland said. "I mean, a hero is maybe kind a stretch. We were just kind of doing what I think any human being would do in that situation. When you see something like that happen and someone else might be hurt, you put a little risk upon yourself to make sure he's OK. I think most human beings are kind of instinctual enough to do that." As most race fans have pointed out, helping a fellow competitor is just what racers do; a clear code that remains unwavering, even if it's not written down. That much was made clear when Mayo was asked if he knows or has a relationship with Austin Dillon , the man he sprinted toward to help at 3 in the morning. "No sir," Mayo said. "I've never talked to him once." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
R&D Center poring over data that came through in Daytona wreck MORE: Dillon discusses how he is feeling " Exclusive video of wreck, 88 crew reacts On Tuesday, the sports world was still buzzing about Austin Dillon 's spectacular wreck on the last lap of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Meanwhile, NASCAR was busy investigating the incident for potential safety improvements. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" and explained some of the processes that were taking place in reaction to the wreck, which Dillon walked away from after waving to fans to signal that he was OK. O'Donnell said Dillon's car and all the parts were at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, where they were under investigation. "The incident data recorder that we have will give us over 10,000 samples per second of that incident, and that goes for 20 seconds," O'Donnell said. "(The people at R&D) are going to be poring over that data, looking at what improvements we can make from the car. Two things you never want to see, how did it get up in the air and how did it get into the fence. Both of those we need to work on, and we are doing that." O'Donnell said NASCAR also was concerned with the debris that entered the grandstand. Thirteen spectators were seen at the track after the accident. Eight declined treatment, four were treated at the track and one spectator was taken to a nearby hospital, treated and later released. "And the second piece (of the investigation) is what can we do from a technology standpoint to keep any debris from going into the grandstand," O'Donnell said. "We know this is an inherently dangerous sport, but the fans go there to be entertained. So what we can do to lead in this area and come up with some new technology that will benefit the sport and especially the race track." O'Donnell also was asked whether NASCAR planned any penalties for the crew members who rushed onto the track and went to check on Dillon . "Nobody is going to be penalized," O'Donnell said. "We took some hard cards, and the reason for that is we want to have some conversations with those folks. Listen, we all applaud everybody who wants to run to a scene and help out. That's something that I think is really cool about our industry in terms of people caring about their fellow athletes. "We just want to talk about the safety aspect of it. We have got to dispatch our safety equipment; those folks are experts and to be able to get to Austin as quickly as possible, assess the scene. Any second we can't do that because the car might be surrounded is a challenge." O'Donnell addressed a couple of other topics during the radio show. On what went into the decision to run the race Sunday night instead of Monday, O'Donnell said: "I know Brian (France) said it, 10:45-to-11:15 we thought we'd back with green flag racing. We missed that a little bit. Definitely started a little later than we had hoped or wanted, but when you looked in the stands and how many people remained for the race, big night for NBC, folks had been there for a long, long time, we thought it was in our best interest, knowing it was a work day the next day, to try to get that in if there was any way possible." And finally on whether the Coke Zero 400 would ever go back to being a daytime event: "I don't think so, the sport is so big now and there are so many partners that are involved. I think that worked for a time, and that was neat. I've lived in Florida for a long time and the showers are usually one hour and out of here. (The weather) was a bit unusual Sunday night. That's a huge opportunity for us, for the fans who come, for our television partners, it was a big moment for the sport to be able to race on Sunday night. We have to take those opportunities when we can if we want to continue to grow the sport." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule