MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
AAA 400 DRIVE FOR AUTISM
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
MAY 4, 2018
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AAA CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed an upcoming AAA promotion, racing at Dover, his accident last weekend at Talladega, his success at some of the next tracks on the schedule and many other topics. Full Transcript:
AUSTIN, HAVE YOU SEEN THE CAMARO ZL1 THAT A LUCKY FAN WILL WIN THROUGH THE AAA ‘DRIVING LIKE DILLON’ PROMOTION?
“I actually will be seeing it for the first time here in a second, but I got some inside info from the people who kind of made it look really cool. I’m excited about the reveal. As a kid growing up, you always see these different sweepstakes with drivers and stuff, this is the first time that I’ve been a part of being able to give away a car. It’s really cool for a partner like AAA to step up and for our sport to promote this. I hope everybody gets behind it and good luck in trying to win our Camaro ZL1 No. 3.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS LEADING INTO THIS WEEKEND AT DOVER?
“Yeah, I’m very excited. Trying to get back on track here after Talladega it was kind of a bummer we had a pretty good execution of a race and then you come home with a bad finish running through the grass and destroying a car. Getting to Dover, I’m excited, been excited about getting here all week. Had some solid finishes last year, but we want to improve on those. Bristol was really good for us, so I think we bring a similar set-up here and we can work on it throughout the practice sessions we have and come home with a good run. I would like to gain some stage points, hopefully a bonus point at some point and bring home a top 10 finish.”
TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT THIS RACE TRACK IS WHEN YOU FIRST CAME HERE. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET THE HANG OF IT?
“You know it’s a tough one especially your first time. We’ve got a driver in the Truck Series there, Tanner Thorson and I was telling him ‘don’t be discouraged because this place is hard’. The first couple of laps out there you can be really aggressive and guys that are comfortable and been here before they show this aggression out there and you are like ‘wow how do they go they hard?’ You get comfortable as you get more laps on the track here and then the race kind of comes to you. When you start the green-flag drops the speeds come down a little bit and then the best handling car starts to really show up. If you work on your car and stay consistent, let it come to you, it will reward you in the race. This place is always, I think, more fun to race than to practice or qualify because you are trying to catch your breath during practice and qualifying the whole time and then you get in the race and you kind of relax a little bit.”
ON HIS ACCIDENT LAST WEEKEND AT TALLADEGA:
“Yeah, I never hit a car in that entire accident until after I hit the grass because at that point the car was already destroyed and I couldn’t get stopped. Yeah, the wreck was happening and my spotter was saying ‘go low, go low’ and I saw the cars starting to come even lower, so I saw there was a gap in the grass, so I just cut left and when I cut left the first part of the grass was okay, then all of a sudden it felt like I hit a tabletop jump or something and destroyed the car. I looked at it on Race Hub they showed a video of it, they had like an aerial view, and I actually, the first part of the grass was fine it was like the first five feet of it half the car was still on asphalt and the other half was on the grass and then when I got completely on the grass it just jumped and took all that grass with it. We think it was a drain of some sort or something that like a pipe or something that was underneath the track. It completely destroyed the car. It knocked the front-clip up and the rear quarter panel off of the car and punctured the radiator too. We were done after that.”
ARE YOU ON TEAM NO GRASS NOW?
“I was thinking about that. It’s hard with the ride height rule to be in favor or grass, but definitely if there is something down there like at Kentucky when they had to remove that grate that was there on the front stretch, I don’t know… I would like to go back and look at that exact spot. Because my brother crossed the grass, literally like a half a car length left of me and had no damage and Kasey Kahne did too I think or one other car did the same thing I did and they made it. I don’t know if I just cleared the way for them or what.”
WHERE ARE TRACKS WHERE YOU THINK YOU CAN MAKE A MOVE IN THE POINTS?
“Well, this next group of tracks are some of my favorite tracks, you’ve got Charlotte, Kansas, Dover and we always seem to gain points during the summer time. If you look back at my stats, my summers are really good as far as being consistent and truthfully, we have been decent all year long. We haven’t had the speed and there are reasons for the speed not being there I feel like. As far as Chevy as a whole right now we are working to find the speed, but the execution, I’m not disappointed with the execution of our races, just disappointed with the next group of cars we need to catch. If you walk through the garage you can see if you walk through the trailers where the speed is at kind of at the moment because we park in order. The next group of tracks are really good for us. I’m excited to get there including here that we can gain points and we seem to do that pretty consistently. Talladega took us from 13th to 17th, so that was the big jump getting us out of the top 16, it’s pretty tight right there. I’m looking forward to the next group of tracks.”
ON TANNER THORSON:
“Well, I think it’s kind of tough. I want to set goals for him and it’s hard because we are trying to develop that team and him at the same time. But, the biggest thing I think it finishing the race. That is the first goal he needs to set. It’s his first Truck (Series) race, finish the race and I feel like if you finish the race you are going to have a top 15, top 20 easy, top 15 needs to be his goal too I think. It’s hard to set a guy like that, that wants to run up front his first goal is to finish the race, but I think that is a good start for him here in the GoShare Truck.”
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