Get the latest Austin Dillon news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Get the latest Austin Dillon news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Menards to serve as primary sponsor for No. 33 XFINITY ride in select races Richard Childress Racing announced Thursday that Menards has extended its sponsorship of the team's efforts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The agreement will keep the Wisconsin-based home-improvement company's familiar fluorescent yellow colors on the RCR No. 33 Chevrolet in select races for the fourth straight season. Menards also provides backing for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Paul Menard on Childress' No. 27 entry. "Menards has become a key supporter of our XFINITY Series program through the past few years and I look forward to an even better future with them," said team owner Richard Childress. "John Menard has vast experience in motorsports and business and I have leaned on him for advice during our partnership. I can't thank him enough for being there." The team said that Menard and 17-year-old Brandon Jones will split duty in the No. 33 next year with Menards sponsorship. In late November, RCR announced that Austin Dillon would drive the majority of the No. 33 team's races with backing by Rheem. A rotation of four drivers spent time wheeling the No. 33 Camaro last season, with Menard scoring the lone victory at Michigan International Speedway in June. Cale Conley , two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton and former Nationwide Series champ Dillon also took turns in the No. 33 cockpit. Jones was announced as an addition to Childress' developmental program in early November. The Atlanta native finished fourth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings last season, posting an impressive victory at Iowa Speedway in August in a race for the combined East and West tours. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
At first race, student from Dominican Republic soaks it all in Students are encouraged to work as active media members at the race track and ultimately tell the story of their unique experience at a NASCAR event. Following each immersion, one student will have the chance to see their work published on NASCAR.com. Last month, Nerys Medina, a student from the Dominican Republic, attended Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway and filed this story. This journey started by chance. Thanks to the Student Media Immersion program that provided my friend Marjorie and I the chance to witness the last race of 2014 of what I now know as the NASCAR Camping Truck World Series. It was a wonderful experience. I am Nerys Medina, an advertisement student from the Dominican Republic. Until recently, the only thing I knew about NASCAR was its name and that it was something related to cars. Now I know better. We arrived at Homestead-Miami Speedway where we were dropped off at Gate 1. After taking photos and being amazed at finally arriving there, we approached the track staff to ask about credentials and the Media Center … that was the start of what we fondly call the “Epic Quest.” After confusion over the credential location, we finally arrived at the credential office where we were spotted by Edward Williams, a really friendly and kind member of the NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications staff who was assigned to provide us with credentials needed to start our adventure. We arrived at the Media Center where we met Laura, John and Yvette who helped Edward during our stay. We were guided around the Media Center and stopped in the cafeteria for a snack. After eating, Laura informed us that we’d get the opportunity to interview a very important character, Alba Colon. Alba is the lead engineer of Chevrolet Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. She informed us about the manufacturers participating in the races: Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota and talked to us about many things, including Chevrolet’s friendly rivalry with Ford. Talking with Alba was an incredible experience; she explained many things and gave us good tips for the future. The place we talked to Alba was in the driver press conference room where Edward told us later all the drivers and sponsors would be for the driver/crew chief meeting. Meanwhile, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trophy was already on stage so we were allowed to take a few pictures with it. After the inspiring talk with Alba, Edward proposed a tour of the garages and explained the gist of the different inspections that the cars have to pass in order to be able to compete. We also saw Victory Lane where Edward told us that the race winner goes with the winning car (in our case truck) and celebrates with the crew members and fans. We walked around the track for a long time taking pictures of different cars and listening to all of the details provided. Laura later found us and invited us to see a live interview with Austin Dillon . We saw that he was given a special headset in order to listen and answer the questions asked by the reporter. It was really interesting and I was astonished that he could hear and answer calmly without being bothered by cars running in the background. I wonder if the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ could be used in that situation. A few minutes before the start of the race, we were provided with earplugs and a device called ‘FanVision,’ which contained the drivers’ stats and showed the race live. Earplugs ready, excitement and giddiness present, we watched the race and pit stops from behind pit road. With trucks in their positions and everyone holding their breath, in the blink of an eye the race started. When the trucks were racing, I couldn’t believe how fast they could go. I was able to admire a couple of pit stops. Seeing the speed and precision to change old tires, adding or removing changes to the truck and even giving it a push when needed was awe-inspiring. It was an incredible experience watching everything live and it makes you really appreciate all of the dedication and effort everyone pours in their work. In all, it was a wonderful day and also an eye-opening experience that got me really interested in NASCAR. Before, I thought a race was only cars going in circles and nothing else, but after seeing everything, I’m aware now of all the hard work needed to keep such an incredible event in top-notch condition. The knowledge gained from this trip is something that will stay with me for a long time.
Will carry General Mills, Kroger sponsorship for 2015 race
See what drivers have to say about keeping friendships on the track RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated Photo credit: Jim Fluharty/NASCAR Illustrated Is it hard for drivers to maintain friendships with one another? Austin Dillon , Sprint Cup Driver, ( @austindillon3 ) "It's harder for some drivers than it is for others. You just have to learn how to have friendships with those guys because you see them so often. There's a balance between being a friend or just a guy that you know. It can be tough to hit that balance." Brian Vickers, Sprint Cup Driver, ( @BrianLVickers ) "It goes both ways. You have this common interest and respect for each other because of what you do. They are also your competitors. You race with them each week and things happen. You get in accidents, you get mad at each other, so friendships come and go. The respect is probably what keeps friendships together." Kevin Swindell, Nationwide driver, ( @KevinSwindell ) "It can be. A lot of guys go off the old adage, 'If you want friends at the race track, bring them with you.' As you get older, your mindset tends to change. You forgive a little quicker and get to thinking that not everyone is out to get you." Elliott Sadler, Nationwide driver, ( @Elliott_Sadler ) "No, not at all. I've got a lot of friends in this sport. It's almost like a traveling family. You're with drivers more than you're with your own family. You might have an issue with somebody, but you're such close friends, you talk it out and work through it." Have you ever been surprised by how a driver you thought was a friend talked about you or raced you on the track? DILLON : "Yes, at certain times, I've gone, 'Wow, I didn't think he'd say something like that.' Or other drivers have done things after the race that left me saying, 'I don't know that guy.' But you always get over it because there are times when all of us act out of character." VICKERS: "For me, what happens on the track is on the track. I may be mad or disappointed about how someone handled a situation, but that's purely for how they handled things on the track. I wouldn't let it change how I felt about them as a friend." SWINDELL: "There's always something, but you've got to stop and ask yourself, 'Would I have done the same thing to them?' If that's the case, you've got to calm down and let it slide." SADLER: "You run into that all the time, but it’s in the heat of the moment. I'd say 75 to 80 percent of the guys out here are great guys who would do anything in the world for you. But you've got to go out there and race hard and know where to draw the line." Have you ever gotten to know a driver for the first time and come away thinking, "That guy is cooler than I thought?" DILLON : "First impressions are big with me. I feel like I know where someone stands pretty early on when I meet them. I have talked to some guys and come away thinking, 'Man, that's a good guy.' I have also thought, 'Man, that guy is a loser,' and then spent 30 minutes with them and come away thinking totally different of them. I've learned that you've got to be open-minded with everybody. You've got to give everyone a chance." VICKERS: "You have perceptions of people and sometimes that changes when you get to know them. With people in the public eye, you're almost forced to make a judgment of them before you really know them based on what you’ve seen of them. Then you meet them and maybe get a different impression." SWINDELL: "Sure. There are always people that have a reputation one way or the other, and you come away surprised that they are different than you thought." SADLER: "I've had that happen a couple of times, and I've talked to drivers I didn't really know and felt like, 'That guy is going to have a tough time.' " SUBSCRIBE NOW!
RCR No. 3 driver has two points between himself, second-place Regan Smith RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Ty Dillon is aware of his points situation, but the numbers aren't the focus for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, nor his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team. "We're looking at them, but we're looking at trophies first," Dillon , 22, said Oct. 4, moments after finishing fifth in the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway . "We've got to get wins." Dillon , younger brother of Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon and grandson of team owner Richard Childress, sits third in the series' standings, trailing JR Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Regan Smith . The Kansas finish allowed Dillon to close the gap on the two somewhat -- he now trails Elliott by 40 and Smith by only two points. The series travels to Charlotte Motor Speedway next, site of Friday night's Drive For the Cure 300. It's one of three Nationwide Series races in the final four events of the season that will be contested on 1.5-mile tracks, with stops at Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami also remaining. The only non 1.5-mile venue is Phoenix International Raceway. "We've been really strong on these mile-and-a-halves the second half of the year," Dillon said. "Ever since Paul (Menard) kind of kicked it off with a win at Michigan." Menard competes full-time for RCR in the Sprint Cup Series; Michigan is a 2-mile track, but it's the intermediate-track program that Dillon has in mind. Short tracks haven't been the team's bread and butter; the bigger circuits fall more into its wheelhouse. Dillon scored his first Nationwide Series win earlier this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , a week after finishing fifth at Chicago. He was ninth at Atlanta, seventh on a return trip to Chicago and third a week later in Kentucky, all -- except for Indy -- 1.5-mile stops. In 2012 and 2013, he competed in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series , scoring three wins and finishing fourth and second in the points standings. He and crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. know what is required to run competitively, and what it takes to win. His team hasn't gotten "complacent" since moving up to the Nationwide Series, he said. "I think in the past we would come to the track, win a race and maybe get complacent with our cars," Dillon said. "The guys have just kept their heads down and kept digging and digging. We're getting faster and faster each week. "We've got some work to do on the short tracks, for sure, but we've got some mile and a halves left to go and we've got a lot of confidence going into (them)." All three of Dillon's poles this season have come on 1.5-mile tracks -- he scored his first at Las Vegas in the series' third race of the season, added another at Kentucky and the most recent last week at Kansas. "Getting the pole ... was a huge boost and running the way we did, having a car that was capable of me making mistakes and still coming back through the field was a nice relief," he said. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Austin Dillon is suffering from what he believes to be a 24-hour virus
Dillon secures pole position in 500, Truex Jr. behind him in second
Austin Dillon thanks his team and sponors in Victory Lane after winning the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway