Phoenix: A. Dillon, M. Dillon, Childress - GM Friday interview

COMMENTS FROM AUSTIN DILLON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 2 RCR THANKS CHEVY IMPALA SS, MIKE DILLON, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMPETITION AND RICHARD CHILDRESS, PRESIDENT AND CEO regarding Richard Childress Racing decision to use Austin's debut at Phoenix ...

COMMENTS FROM AUSTIN DILLON, DRIVER OF THE NO. 2 RCR THANKS CHEVY IMPALA SS, MIKE DILLON, VICE PRESIDENT OF COMPETITION AND RICHARD CHILDRESS, PRESIDENT AND CEO regarding Richard Childress Racing decision to use Austin's debut at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as an opportunity to thank Chevrolet for the 40-year partnership:

HOW'S YOUR CAR?

AUSTIN DILLON: "I'm really excited. This is the first time our team has been able to come out and compete this year in the Nationwide Series. I'm pretty excited about it. We've tested a bunch leading up to this point, so it's going to be a good day, I think. Our car is pretty good and we're just trying to gain as much experience as we can."

YOUR CAR IS SPONSORED BY YOUR GRANDPA, SO DOES THAT ADD ANY PRESSURE?

AUSTIN DILLON: "He (Richard Childress) always tells me to take it easy and do as much as I can. We're going to drive hard and do what we can. I'm not going to push it too hard, thought, I mean, as hard as it will go. We'll see."

ON RCR THANKS CHEVROLET

AUSTIN DILLON: "We really want to support Chevrolet, especially in tough times right now. RCR has been with Chevrolet for 40 years, I think, so it's a pretty cool deal that we put them on the car and I think it's just going to be a fun race to go out and show the fans what we can do."

HOW DID THE IDEA COME ABOUT?

MIKE DILLON: "We were looking for sponsorships and stuff and it came down to that is something did come together, it was going to be last minute and we weren't going to be able to do it right. I was riding home after work one evening, and thought 'Man, we should put Chevrolet on there and say thank to them for what all they have done for us'. I was just thinking about cars and selling cars and all that stuff, I thought maybe we could help them out because they have been with us for so long, with RCR for 40 years and supported what we do in our sport.

"I knew we had to be sensitive about people thinking that they are putting money into this sponsorship, so I said how do we approach that. So I called somebody as asked if we can get some press out of this, I called a friend in the media to ask because I want to make sure people know, that we, RCR, is thanking Chevrolet. I didn't want it to be shown on TV, people see the car and have people think Chevrolet is sponsoring it.

"I want people to understand that we are saying thank you for what you do for us. Hopefully some people respond to it by buying a car."

"Then, David Hart (RCR Director of Communications) when we were trying to announce it, that is where the RCR Thanks then the Bowtie, he came up with that to make sure we re-emphasize the fact that we are saying thank you."

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU ABOUT AUSTIN'S FIRST RACE AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY?

MIKE DILLON: "I don't know if it is excitement, nerves or what. I am nervous as hell for him because I understand the level he is trying to reach here. This track is very hard to come to the first time. I am a big supporter of not testing, but it also hurts the new guys. Being able to run the NASCAR Camping World Series West last night and getting to see the track for the first time, then today, if we can get out there and run all day and race respectable around those guys, then we will do what we came to do. I am excited but I am real nervous for him."

HOW SUPPORTIVE HAVE YOUR OTHER DRIVERS BEEN SINCE THEY HAVE ALL BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL HERE?

MIKE DILLON: "It was funny, we were out there on the track and he got with (Jeff) Burton on the track, just coincidentally. Burton was about 100 yards ahead of him and Burton either saw him or something, before he pulled off, he slowed down and got Austin about two car lengths behind him and then picked up and started running again so Austin could see what he was doing. Nobody had to even say anything.

"Last night, Clint (Bowyer) watched the Camping World race with us and he talked to him some. Then he went down after the race, got Austin right after he got out of the car and walked him out on the race track and showed him where he needed to be on the track and where he was. Then showed him where he needs to be and what he needs to be working on today which is invaluable.

(Kevin) Harvick has been a big supporter. They all have been. Every one of them texts me to see how he is doing so it is cool. Makes you feel good that the guys are there supporting him."

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO THIS?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "I've been in Chevrolets since 1969 when I ran a Camaro, that is 40 years and have always had a GM product. I ran a Pontiac for a year or two but everything else has been Chevy and I just wanted to say thanks."

IS IT A LITTLE MORE PRESSURE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND HAVING AUSTIN IN A CAR?

RICHARD CHILDRESS: "Yes, it is but he is adjusting real well. I think he well with it."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers David Hart
Teams Richard Childress Racing