BUSCH: Richard Childress More Than Casual Interest in Mike

Childress has more than casual interest in Dillon RICHMOND, Va. (May 14, 1999) Richard Childress has more than a casual interest in ST Motorsports and driver Mike Dillon. The car owner for seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale ...

Childress has more than casual interest in Dillon

RICHMOND, Va. (May 14, 1999) Richard Childress has more than a casual interest in ST Motorsports and driver Mike Dillon. The car owner for seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt and 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year Mike Skinner spends a lot of his spare time around Dillon's bright red, white and blue Kingsford/Match Light Chevrolet. The reason is more than business. Dillon is married to his daughter, Tina.

"Of course I want to see my son-in-law do well," Childress said. "But there are other reasons, too. I like this race team. I think Tad Geschickter is one of the bright, young car owners in our business. I like his business strategies. I like the way he's put this race team together. It's fun to stand back and watch this team grow."

There is a business tie between Childress and ST Motorsports. Childress supplies engines to Dillon's cars, as well as some technical information.

"The nice thing is, we get the benefit of Richard's wealth of experience," Geschickter said. "You have to appreciate what he's accomplished in this sport. He's someone who fully understands every aspect of racing -- the highs, the lows and everything in between.

"If we're having problems, he helps. If his teams try something on his two Winston Cup Series cars and it works, he comes over here and suggests it to us."

Dillon is 19th in the current NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division standings heading into Friday night's Hardee's 250 at the Richmond International Raceway. He qualified 10th for the event Thursday during Bud Pole Qualifying. Childress remains optimistic about the team's direction.

"I keep telling everyone they need to be patient," Childress said. "If they keep doing the things they're doing, everything's going to be all right. Tad is willing to do the things it takes to be a winner. I like that. Tad brought in Kirk Shelmerdine as a consultant, and he's got Dean Johnson in as the new crew chief. It's going to take a little time, but they're headed in the right direction.

"As long as they keep working as hard as they've been working, I think they're going to find success a lot quicker than they think."

Shelmerdine, who helped Childress and Earnhardt win four championships, said he and Johnson are not only trying to get Dillon in Victory Lane, but they're going through each car and the team's method of operation inch-by-inch.

"Right now, we're trying to figure out which tree to bark up," Shelmerdine said. "It takes a little time, but we're making progress."

Dillon thinks Friday night's race at Richmond's .75-mile oval might be a breakthrough race for the entire team.

"What I like most about Richmond is it takes a lot of nerve to go fast there," Dillon said. "The guy who can stick the car on the bottom groove and has enough nerve to stay on the gas longer in the corners is the guy who can win.

"I have confidence in the car. When you have that kind of confidence, and you've got the kind of horsepower we've got, it makes it real easy to have a lot of nerve."

The race will mark Dillon's 98th career start in the series. His 100th start will come at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte on May 29 at the Carquest Auto Parts 300. Not only is the event at Dillon's favorite track, it's a place where Childress has fielded four winning cars.

"I'll go back and forth between the Winston Cup garage and the Busch Series garage when we get to Charlotte," Childress said. "Winston Cup is my business, but the Busch Series is my pleasure."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mike Skinner , Kirk Shelmerdine