MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BOJANGLES SOUTHERN 500
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 31, 2018
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL E15 CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media to discuss his recently unveiled Darlington ‘throwback’ paint scheme, the recent surge in success by RCR on the track, his grandfather joining a group of legends who will pace the field with Camaros and many other topics. Full Transcript:
TALK ABOUT YOUR PAINT SCHEME:
“Well it’s awesome. Obviously, everybody knows what car it is, it’s the 1995 All-Star car that (Dale Earnhardt) Senior ran. It’s super special. Leading up to this point I had talked to a couple of different people what we should do. Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. and I kind of talked about this car and then it kind of came together and American Ethanol, I can’t thank them enough. They have been so supportive of our Darlington schemes and just changing their logos for us to put it however we need it. That is what is cool about this is our sport comes together for everybody to enjoy a weekend like this at Darlington, our throwback weekend.”
THE VARIOUS PAINT SCHEMES KIND OF STARTED WITH RCR BACK IN THOSE DAYS:
“Yeah, this is kind of the one that kind of started all the wild paint schemes. Talking to different guys about it, how special it was and it was a secret. That is why we kind of unveiled it the way we did is they didn’t unveil this car until it rolled off the back of the trailer. And the first person that kind of got me was (Danny) Chocolate (Myers) actually. I was on a radio show and he was talking about ‘what are we going to do for Darlington weekend’ and I said ‘well, I guess you will just have to wait until we get to the track’. And he was like ‘well the last time that was done and he said it was a secret too’ and he knew, so it was cool to have those guys be here and be a part of it. It’s very special for everybody I think involved at RCR.”
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN MAKING SOME GAINS LATELY IT SEEMS LIKE WITH TWO RACES TO GO BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE?
“I feel really good and going into big races like this at Darlington, Indy, crown jewel races. We ran fourth here last year. I’m really excited for this weekend. I’m almost over excited. I’ve got to calm down a little bit because we’ve got such a beautiful car and a good track for our team. I’m pumped and just ready to get in the race car and get after it.”
A LOT OF HISTORY HERE, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COME HERE TO DARLINGTON AND GO FOR THE WIN?
“Anytime you can climb in a car and have a shot to win a race it’s a special feeling, but it’s a little more special at Darlington. This place has a lot of history and it just feels good here when you get here. It’s got that ‘old school’ vibe and we love that.”
IS THIS PAINT SCHEME A MOTIVATION BOOSTER?
“Oh yeah. You want to go out there and run well anytime you put a Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. throwback on the car. Like I said, I’m really pumped this weekend. I’ve got to get my nerves in the right area and we will go out there and log some laps here in the Southern 500 and hopefully put ourselves in a really good position at the end of the night.”
YOU’VE BEEN IN POSITION WHERE YOU HAVE SECURED THE PLAYOFFS, YOU’VE BEEN IN A POSITION WHERE YOU COME HERE AND YOU NEED TO GET A WIN OR GET YOURSELF INTO THE PLAYOFFS. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE IN THE MIND SET? DOES ONE WORK BETTER THAN THE OTHER?
“Oh yeah, being in the Playoffs works a lot better I feel like you don’t have to worry about things. In two weeks from now we are going to be worried. We are going to be thinking about points again. You’ve got to race these last two races like the Playoffs have started. Start really focusing on finishing well and running well against the best of the best. The last three weeks have been positive for us, so we want to continue that momentum here at Darlington and Indy.”
IS THERE ANY CONCERN THAT MAYBE PEOPLE MIGHT TAKE CHANCES THAT THEY MIGHT NOT TAKE AT OTHER RACES JUST BECAUSE WE ARE COMING DOWN TO CRUNCH TIME?
“Obviously, we’ve got guys that are outside looking in that are going to take as many chances as they can. The guys that are in are focused on just logging a great race and trying to win the race for more bonus points. There are going to be different strategies come Sunday night, but that is what is great about this place with tire strategy and the way the tires fall off at this place.”
YOU MENTIONED LAS VEGAS AND THE RESET BUTTON SO TO SPEAK. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GOING INTO THAT RACE FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS? HOW WORRIED ARE YOU ABOUT THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS?
“I’m not necessarily worried, I’m excited. It’s the first time we will have pressure on ourselves all year. Hopefully, we step up to the task and that is what we are kind of treating these last two races to get prepared for those. We will be ready by then.”
WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE RECENT GAINS IN PERFORMANCE TO?
“New inventory is always a good thing, but for us it’s just we are focusing on the places where speed is mostly gained. We have had some good tests as of late and we have been able to work on things that we haven’t worked on all year with our new Camaro ZL1 and we are starting to get some positive gains from that. Those tests and obviously everybody working hard at the shop. We haven’t been tearing up a whole lot of race cars so we can get them faster.”
SO, IT’S ALL DRIVER?
“I don’t know about that (laughs). I would like to say that, but we have gotten a lot better from the beginning of the year for sure.”
YOU MAY HAVE A REALLY COOL PAINT SCHEME, BUT YOUR GRANDFATHER IS ACTUALLY GOING TO TAKE HIS 1969 CAMARO AND JOIN A GROUP AND PACE THE FIELD. HOW IS THAT GOING TO BE FOLLOWING HIM TO THE GREEN FLAG?
“Oh, that is awesome. I’m really pumped for him. Last year, you couldn’t get Richard Petty off the track, if we get more of those guys out there it might take a little longer. We will be taking care of our tires in that time when they are out on the track.”
NEXT WEEK KIND OF STARTS THE NASCAR VERSUS NFL BATTLES ON SUNDAY. YOU ARE A HUGE NFL FAN DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FIGHT FOR ATTENTION ONCE THE NFL SEASON COMES?
“Well I think NASCAR’s core base of fans always shows up for our races and is there. NFL has a great fanbase also, but I enjoy our fanbase because they are so loyal. They never waiver. Yeah, I’m a huge NFL fan and when I’m not racing I will be at an NFL game, but for me what is the main focus is NASCAR and I think the fans are here are our fans and that is why our sport has been here for so long is because of the loyalty that our fans show to our sport.”
YOU’VE RUN THIS NUMBER PRETTY MUCH YOUR WHOLE LIFE. YOU’VE TAKEN OWNERSHIP OF IT. IS IT GOING TO BE DIFFERENT NOW NOT ONLY HAVING THE NUMBER, BUT A PAINT SCHEME THAT WAS DALE EARNHARDT, SR.’S AS WELL?
“Well, last year we ran the Wrangler scheme and that was one of his paint schemes. It felt really good in our first throwback to go out there and get a top five in that Wrangler paint scheme. I think it would feel even better if we could go get a win in this one. Yeah, there is always pressure when you get in that car because you want to perform in it, but I hope all the fans just enjoy seeing it out there and we put it in the right place when it comes Sunday night.”
**Photo Credit** – Harold Hinson Photography
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