[media-credit name=”Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]For any driver entering into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving for one of the biggest teams in NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing, the pressure is certainly there to perform. However, for Ty Dillon, the pressure goes beyond that. But as you take a closer look at this 19-year-old, the pressure isn’t bugging him one bit.
For starters, he is driving the exact same truck that his brother Austin Dillon drove to the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship. Everybody is expecting younger brother Ty to live up to Austin’s level after Ty finished in the top 10 in two of three starts last year.
Rather than being concerned with the expectations, Ty Dillon focuses on the advantages of having a big brother racing in NASCAR.
“I can use his career as a learning curve for me, the things that he does,” Dillon says. “I get to pay attention to everything that he does on and off the race track that help him or hurt him. There are a lot of advantages to having an older brother who is successful in a series above you.”
Dillon also has the pressure on his shoulders as he is the grandson of his team owner, Childress. For Dillon, he once again uses it as an advantage from his standpoint in his career.
“He is always there to help us, no matter what it is on or off the race track,” the defending ARCA Racing Series Champion says. “Whether it’s doing stuff like this and what he’s learned over the years that’s helped him, or things on the race track. He’s a legend of our sport and I’m very blessed to be in the situation that I am to be able to rely on him.”
Dillon adds that Childress stresses that he should bring the truck back in one piece, while also taking some risks to win races.
At no point does Dillon take for granted the situation he is in, either, saying that he was blessed to be born into this situation.
“I’ve been around racing all my life and kind of knew it would be an option there for me,” he says. “My grandfather never really wanted to pressure us into racing. We played football, baseball and other sports. We kind of started racing late. I started when I was 13. (Brother) Austin was 15. Nowadays kids are starting when they’re four or five years old racing.”
Since then, the feeling behind the wheel hasn’t changed for Dillon as he says he still loves it just as much.
“Driving, it just gives us that feeling that you can’t get away from,” he explains. “We still get it every day when we strap into these Nationwide (cars) and trucks and we race probably 50 or 60 races a year, just because we love the sport and we love what we do.”
With taking over the truck that his big brother drove, that means that Dillon is behind the wheel of the legendary No. 3 truck. This brings its own set of expectations from fans that expect the No. 3 to be running up front and winning every weekend. Dillon says he doesn’t feel that pressure as he is actually having fun with running the number.
“It means more to us on a personal side that it’s my grandfather’s number and it’s really great to see the fan’s reactions when you run well in it and you win races,” he says. “To see how excited people get to see that black number 3 back there on the track, the way it used to be. So we’re just having fun with it right now. As long as everybody stays happy with it that’s what we’re going do. As far as what series it’s going to go, I’ll leave that up to my grandfather. Right now we’re doing it for our family and doing it for the fans.”
In expanding on that, Dillon says that the number means a lot to him due to it being the number that his grandfather Childress ran during his career.
Dillon joins the youth movement that has taken over the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as late with young drivers coming in to get their start in racing, including James Buescher and Parker Kligermann, among others.
“They kind of got away from having individual names that led that series,” Dillon says. “Now we’ve got young guys in each series that are developing their way from the trucks to the Nationwide and now to Sprint Cup. It’s really cool to see that and gives you hope as a driver making your way up the rankings. I’m glad to see more individuality in each series, so it’s really nice.”
While most rookies may be set on coming in and learning, that’s not the same with Dillon. He says that coming off the ARCA championship last year and driving Austin’s trucks, he feels that he can do well.
“I feel like we need to run for a championship this year,” he says. “We’ve got the experience and the equipment, why can’t we do it? We ran well last year and we got a lot of confidence going into this year. We’ll see what it gives us. We want to win some races but our main trophy in our little trophy case we have set off to the side is the championship trophy. Then if we do that, we will have won races and won rookie of the year.”
So far, Dillon is off to a pretty good start as he survived the carnage in Daytona to finish ninth and now sits eighth in points heading into Martinsville in two weeks.