Dillon finds new life at ST Motorsports By Shawn A. Akers CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 27, 1999) From the start, Mike Dillon figured to take his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division career by leaps and bounds. Instead, it's taken the form of...
Dillon finds new life at ST Motorsports By Shawn A. Akers
CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 27, 1999) From the start, Mike Dillon figured to take his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division career by leaps and bounds. Instead, it's taken the form of baby steps.
Now that he's learned to walk, Dillon said it's time for him to start running. With a new team and a new attitude, he's not only ready to win races, but he also believes he's ready to contend for a championship.
First things first, however. He and ST Motorsports' No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet team will have to gel early on in 1999 before it can reach title-contending status. That's something, though, that Dillon doesn't foresee as a problem.
"Just coming over to ST Motorsports and knowing the group of people that's over there has got me pumped up, and I know the whole team is pumped up," Dillon said. "They're behind me 100 percent and they've got some awesome race cars. They just moved into a new shop, and to top it all off, we're getting our engines from RCR (Richard Childress Racing) this year.
"So, I just can't wait to get to the race track and see what we're going to do. You can sit there and talk a whole lot of speed in the shop, but when you get down there and see what it does, that's what I'm looking forward to."
The son-in-law of Richard Childress won several races in the Late Model Stock Car Division of the NASCAR Winston Racing Series at tracks in North Carolina prior to becoming a regular in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1996 with Parker Racing and owners Ron and Becky Parker.
He failed to win a NASCAR Busch Series race in three years there driving the No. 72 Chevrolet, and he parted ways with the team following a 12th-place finish in the season standings and two top-five finishes in 1998.
"I figured the first year I came out of Late Models (1996), well, I was so dominant there that I just knew I was going to win races at this level," Dillon said. "I was hoping I could be as successful as Elliott (Sadler) and (Dale Earnhardt) Junior, but it's been longer and it's been harder for me. But I think I've learned a lot from it, too. I think when it comes down to running for the points and trying to win that championship in '99, the hard work we did and the experience we had at Parker Racing is going to pay off."
Dillon has since hooked up with ST Motorsports team owner Tad Geschickter, who has built his program into a contender to win races in a very short time. And according to Dillon, the team is already a championship contender.
"This team was very successful last year, and so far the communication between me and the team has been great," Dillon said. "Man, I'm just pumped up about starting the race season. The team is really sky-high, so high that I've got to catch up with those guys.
"Man, I want to win a championship, and I think I can. I think I'm capable of driving well enough to do that. I think this ST Motorsports team can do it, especially with the engine program we have.
"I think a good season would be a top-five in the points, but I'm going to win a championship. I think we can win races, and we can win a championship. That's what I'm racing for this year and I know everybody at ST Motorsports is racing for that, too."
Source: NASCAR Online