CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP
ROUND 2 OF 10
BAD BOY OFF ROAD 300
NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 PUMPKIN SPICE CHEERIOS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed his accident in the first practice session, his thoughts on going to a back-up car, his position in the current Chase standings and many other topics. Full Transcript:
ON FIRST PRACTICE:
“It didn’t go as planned. Just trying to find some extra speed and drove a little too hard I guess or I don’t know what really happened. We just didn’t have it together as good as we wanted to in that first practice. We’ve got a good back-up car and we will go try and qualify on the pole with it.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR PUMPKIN SPICE CHEERIOS, HAVE YOU TRIED THEM YET, HOW ARE THEY? DO YOU HAVE ANY PRESSURE GOING INTO THIS RACE?
“Yeah we want to advance so there is always pressure there. We just want to go out there and have a good run. That would be great. A top 10, top-five or have a shot to win. We are in the Chase, we want to do well and it’s a great opportunity for us. And our Pumpkin Spice Chevrolet looks really good. I hate that we had to ruin the first one, but we have another one that looks just the same.”
ON GOING TO A BACK-UP CAR:
“This is my first back-up in three years in the Cup Series, so I really don’t know how to answer that question. I’ve never had to go to a back-up. In Darlington I flat sided the car in practice, but we used that car. That is the only place I’ve really had damage and had to run a car with damage going into a race. Yeah, I’ve never had a back-up car that I’ve had to run in three years, so we will see how it goes right here. I will have a better answer afterwards.”
DO YOU GET THE IDEA THAT THEY CAN REPLICATE WHAT YOU HAD IN THE PRIMARY CAR?
“I hope so. It’s not the exact same car, it’s a little older car, but same type of car we ran here the first time and we ran pretty solid in that race. We will just go out there and drive it hard and see what it gives me.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST THINGS THAT YOUR CREW CHIEF SLUGGER LABBE HAS BROUGHT TO YOU THAT HAS HELPED WITH YOUR STRONG SEASON SO FAR? SECONDLY, DESPITE THE SET-BACK THAT YOU HAD IN FIRST PRACTICE DO YOU FEEL PRETTY CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR CHANCES TO GAIN SOME POSITIONS IN POINTS TO FEEL SAFE GOING INTO DOVER NEXT WEEK?
“Yeah, I do. I feel like we can gain points here this weekend. We just have to be smart with what we do from here on out. The good thing is that it happened during the first practice session, so we can have a good qualifying position in the next two hours and it doesn’t hurt us, we don’t have to start in the back. Just want to have a solid run in qualifying, feel out the car and see what we got. I feel like this is a place where we can gain positions. It’s a long race. You can play some strategy at the end, restarts are really important, especially when the late race cautions start happening.”
AT WHAT POINT AFTER YOU HAVE A MEDIOCRE RUN LIKE YOU HAD AT CHICAGO DO YOU START TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE STANDINGS AND START CALCULATING POINTS?
“I think you are already in that mindset. You know you’ve got to beat sixteen of those guys. You watch where they are at and you are trying to be ahead of every one of them you can. Every restart you have to be aggressive at the end. You have to make calls to gain those positions to put yourself in that position. We will be aggressive the next two weeks, as aggressive as we can, aggressively smart. I think two top 10 finishes will give us a great shot to move to the next round. That is what we want to do so we can regroup. I feel like we’ve got a good shot the next two weeks.”
TELL US YOUR GENERAL THOUGHTS WHEN YOU COME RACING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:
“New Hampshire is a different place than anywhere we go to during the year, flat in both ends. It has its own challenges, but ran here a lot in the past. I just kind of feel like this is one of the first big tracks I ever ran on with the NASCAR East Series and to this point I’ve enjoyed coming to New Hampshire.”
DID YOU HAVE A FLAT TIRE THIS MORNING?
“No, I just tried to get some speed in the car and it didn’t work out, truthfully, is what I think happened. I don’t know. The brakes were bothering me a little bit throughout the day, but I think it was just me trying to get some.”
THOUGHTS ON THE RIOTS IN CHARLOTTE:
“You can’t really ignore it. It’s on all the news stations, but for me it’s sad that our country is at this point in time. I just hope everybody can look at everything and gather their thoughts and figure out the right way to fix the problems we have. Hopefully, with the way things are the right people will come together and fix these problems that are going on. It’s just sad really.”
HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES YOUR STRONG RUN HERE IN THE SUMMER GIVE YOU?
“Yeah, I think we got a good car, like you said earlier this year, pretty decent car and the car that we are taking out is very similar. We can look back at those notes. The track is a lot faster today, it was a half a second faster than where it was in qualifying time earlier this year. For us it’s just we brought a different car here than the last one. So, I was kind of excited about that and it didn’t go well. We will go with this car. We know what to do to it, the adjustments that need to be done and we will take it from there.”
ON QUALIFYING HIS BACK-UP CAR:
“Things will be a little different, but as far as my driving style going into it, I mean I want to put the Pumpkins Spice Cheerios Chevrolet on the pole, I’m going to go into it aggressive and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out. We’ve got two other back-up cars in the No. 31 and No. 27 (haulers) we are going to drive hard.”