CHEVROLET NCS AT DAYTONA 500 – Austin Dillon Friday Media Availability Quotes

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 RICHARD CHILDRES RACING CAMARO ZL1, was the fastest Chevrolet driver in the NASCAR Cup Series’ practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Media Availability Quotes –

Is there any concern that Chevrolet is not up to speed with the Fords and Toyotas?

“I don’t know. I mean we looked pretty good in qualifying and it’s hard to tell when you have small packs out there. The RCR cars and the HMS cars made a run together, but you throw in the Trackhouse guys then maybe we start running the same lap times that the other manufacturers are running. They were just in bigger groups, so I think more is better. At least it was right there it seemed like. We were kind of working on our car because we had quite a bit of damage from the other night, but it seemed to turn a pretty decent lap, wasn’t very good getting pushed, so we made an adjustment, and it seemed like that was a positive there at the end. Kyle (Busch) was able to push me there at the end and I could feel better because that was kind of our Achillies heel, because we couldn’t be pushed.  But that was better right there. Pretty happy with it and if we can make that a little better then we can go into Sunday and have a little fun.”

I noticed a backup car on a flatbed. Were you guys ready to go to a backup if your car couldn’t be repaired?

“I am assuming that was because the No. 8 went to a backup, and we probably carry one backup car in the two haulers. So, they probably brought one down last night. That’s probably what that was, in case something happened in practice.”

Do you and Kyle (Busch) feel good about going into this race as well as you ran last year?

“I felt really good about it last night when we took off there in the front. It’s so hard with the Duels and the way it works out right now with the speedway racing we have right now where you are racing to a fuel window.  You saw Denny gained 15 spots by saving fuel and that was kind of what we were trying to do. And when someone in front of you makes a mistake getting to pit road like the 45 and the 19 and then we got sideswiped, it just kills your day, and you are trying to fight back. It’s not like a couple of years ago when you could just drive back to the front if you had a good car, and you made some good moves.  Now, you just start side drafting each other and you just don’t have that third lane. My hope now is now with more race cars that we get a third lane formed. It usually changes a lot from the Duels to the race, so I want to see better racing. I don’t know about the current package, and I don’t know how great it is, I don’t know how good it is with the ones we have had in the past.  I say that, but you can always make it worse.”

With the fuel mileage, is there a disadvantage to leading?

“I mean look at the 47 last night. He carried everybody and looked like a hero, but then has to come to pit road laps early and he is pretty much stuck in the back and gets caught up in a wreck. So, you can get some TV time for your partners by going up there and staying 100% throttle, knowing that you are going to rotate to the back for the next run and hope that you can get back up through there by just being patient, making some good moves and trying to take advantage of people who are lifting.  It’s just kind of an accordion to who is running wide open and who is not. It’s different because you always wanted to be the guy that was 100% running in the throttle all the time.   And now its become a fuel saving game to flip pit strategy. It’s just different.”