MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
SOUTH POINT 400
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PLAYOFF MEDIA DAY TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Playoff media day. Select Quotes:
HOW DO YOU ATTACK RICHMOND?
“Well, you know I always felt like Richmond was one of my worst places, but this year we had a really good run earlier this year there and we got our car pretty good at the test just a couple of weeks ago, so I’m pumped to get back to go to Richmond. Like you said, you can always get to somebody at Richmond, so payback is usual one of those places you circle Richmond is one of them. We will be aggressive when we get there.”
THERE HAS BEEN SOME TALK THAT YOU MAYBE GETTING A NEW TEAMMATE FOR NEXT YEAR. ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY OF THAT?
“My biggest deal is that we are so focused on the Playoffs. We are the one (RCR) team in the Playoffs this year, so at RCR we are focused on that. I can’t say I have even thought about the No. 31 at all because I have been focused on what I can do to take the No. 3 team deep into the Playoffs. But, yeah, I’m not involved in much of any of that.”
DO YOU CARE WHO YOUR TEAMMATE IS?
“Yeah, teammates are always important. Me and (Ryan) Newman have created a great relationship over the years. You want a solid guy that you can lean on when you are struggling.”
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOUR BEST ROUND?
“I feel like after this first stage we are in a good position. All those tracks can be good places for me and our team. I think the hardest one is going to be this first one. We do our job the next three weeks then I’m in a really good position past that.”
WHAT WOULD YOU PUT YOUR ODDS-ON MAKING HOMESTEAD?
“How is this? If we make Homestead we are going to have great odds to win the championship.”
ON PUTTING AN EMPHASIS ON DRIVER’S IN NASCAR:
“I think you see it. It’s becoming more and more obvious to see the guys that want to be out here doing it and doing a good job of it. All of us are working hard at it. The young guys that are coming in are putting in the time and the effort and you are starting to see it on the track, off the track you have seen it for a while now. It’s good for our sport. You’ve got a good mix of old and new and that allows you to see the differences from time change I guess, the changing of the guard, but the good guys are still good and they are going to be hard to beat forever. They are good for a reason, but we have worked hard and I think it’s a good time to be a fan of the sport because you can latch on to young guys or you can stick to the guy that kind of got you there. But, yeah, I think drivers are the sport, they are NASCAR. It’s what creates this family interest in all of this.”
YOU ARE AN NBA GUY YOU HAVE SEEN HOW THEY HAVE TRANSITIONED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. FOR WHATEVER REASON IT’S WORKED:
“Yeah, I think social media wise we are doing a pretty good job as a whole. NBA does a great job interacting with their fans whether it be through gaming, a lot of them do that. For us, I think that E-League stuff… we should head down that path with our NASCAR video games. There are some great ways that we can keep engaging the fans. Because that is what it’s about engaging the fans, let them have fun with it. I think our fantasy sports have gotten better. People enjoy picking their drivers on the weekend’s. It’s a blast really trying to learn new ways to engage fans. I’ve started a YouTube show ‘Barn Life’. Those things are important. People want to see you on a different side of things and you’ve got to showcase that. It’s not just all about being on the race track. You’ve got to show what you do outside the racecar people want to know.”
ON HAVING A TEAMMATE OUTSIDE THE PLAYOFFS:
“I think it’s a positive thing. Everybody at RCR is going to be really focused on how we are running. Everybody wants us to make it deep into the Playoffs and have a chance with this opportunity we have being in the Playoffs. I think the focus will be shifted all to our team. The good thing is with the No. 31 there we can try things with them at the track. They are a good teammate as it is, so having Newman’s experience there … you still have a teammate racing every weekend. That will be key.”
AS BEING PART OF THE YOUTH MOVEMENT IN NASCAR THIS YEAR WHAT HAS THAT BEEN LIKE?
“I think starting off the year with a win at Daytona it was really key and as far as the youth goes there is a long lull of guys winning multiple races that weren’t the youth movement. We are pushing hard to get to Victory Lane each and every week. That is why it’s tough there is a wide variety of guys of all ages that are the best of the best at different age groups. It’s been fun.”
WHAT IS THE ONE KEY FOR YOU PERSONALLY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE PLAYOFFS AND MAKE IT TO MIAMI?
“I think focus. No mistakes. Last year, I made a mistake at Chicago running inside the top five. Got stage points in both stages and had a speeding penalty and took ourselves out of the race. That pretty much set us up to have to be offensive the next couple of weeks. For me this year it’s no mistakes. Focus on the first race that is Las Vegas, don’t have my mind looking forward to the next ones until we get there. As soon as Vegas is over you go and you really study on Richmond. I’m focused on Vegas right now and no mistakes.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN YOU ARE COMPETING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP?
“I think in the back of your mind knowing that you season can come to a close really quick. That is probably the biggest challenging knowing that in the back of your mind that at any moment you step a foot out of line that you could take yourself out for the year.”
WHO DO YOU SEE AS A DARK HORSE IN THIS YEAR’S PLAYOFFS?
“Austin Dillon. I will take the dark horse role. Anything can happen. We show up at times and people least expect it. It’s one of those things where the confidence is there when the car needs that we all come together we can do great things.”
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