A chance meeting between two champions

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DOVER, Del. – Race fans worldwide watched Austin Dillon win Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway roughly eight hours after Japanese driver Takuma Sato took the checkered flag in the Indianapolis 500.

So what were the chances of the two races winners meeting each other by happenstance during the days that followed the races?

Purely by coincidence, the drivers were at Teterboro Airport in New York on Tuesday during the media obligations that followed their respective victories. Dillon had just finished an impromptu dinner with his grandfather and team owner, Richard Childress, before coming to Teterboro.

“Yeah, that was totally fate,” Dillon told the NASCAR Wire Service on Friday at Dover International Speedway. “We had that dinner – it wasn’t a scheduled dinner, my grandfather was just like, ‘Hey we’re in New York, let’s have a dinner.’ We got done, and we were headed to the airport. Everybody was pretty tired, and we walked through the airport and one of the guys said ‘Hey, I think that’s Takuma Sato.’

“He was walking actually out to the plane and we were like ‘Man, we’ve got to get a picture with him.’  His business manager turned around and saw us and he was like ‘Well, this is a great coincidence.’ And he pulled him back in, and we got a couple of pictures, showed off our rings to each other. That was cool. He was a really nice guy and you could tell he was just jacked about the win at Indy.”

No doubt the feeling was mutual.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.