Sunday, Aug 07

Austin Dillion to make Cup Debut at Kansas or Phoenix Later This Year

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the primary sponsors when Austin Dillon makes his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut later this season in the No. 98 Curb-Agajanian Performance Group Chevrolet.


The Ronald Reagan Centennial is a historic, year-long celebration to commemorate the 100th birthday of the 40th President of the United States of America. A series of substantive and celebratory events, partnerships, and initiatives sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation are planned throughout 2011.


The specific race will be announced at a later date.


"It's an honor and a privilege to be part of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration as a Co-Chair of the National Youth Leadership Committee," said Dillon. "President Reagan was always one of my grandfather's, Richard Childress, heroes, so I grew up hearing about the President's strong leadership abilities and family values. Those are two qualities I carry with me in my career as a NASCAR driver by being a strong leader for my team and making my family proud of my accomplishments on and off the track."


Dillon is in his second full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He rewrote the history books in 2010 en route to securing Rookie of the Year honors. The Lewisville, N.C., native earned seven poles, breaking a 12-year-old rookie record. He captured his first career victory at Iowa Speedway in July and returned to Victory Lane two months later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After finishing outside the top 10 in five of the first seven races, he rebounded to end the season with 16 top-10 finishes. Dillon finished fifth in the series-ending points standings, becoming only the second rookie to do so in nine seasons.


The start by Dillon will be the 100th for car co-owner Mike Curb. Curb was directly involved back in the mid-1980s in reuniting car owner Richard Childress, Dillon's grandfather, with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. The tandem went on to win 67 races and six NASCAR Cup Series championships together in the famed No. 3 Chevrolets.


"I am proud to be associated with Richard Childress and Austin Dillon as he makes his first Sprint Cup start," said Curb. "I am proud that my company Curb Records is also involved in this wonderful tribute to President Reagan's 100th Centennial Celebration. I had the opportunity to serve President Ronald Reagan in several capacities including Co-Chairman of his successful 1980 Presidential campaign.  I also want to thank our partners at FullCircle Ventures for putting this program together."


As President, Ronald Reagan started the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona where he gave the command, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" from aboard Air Force One. Later that day, Air Force One landed at Daytona International Airport behind the speedway, in full view of the fans. That day, Richard Petty captured his historic 200th victory.


"President Reagan was the first sitting U.S. President to attend a NASCAR race," said Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Centennial Celebration. "As many Americans take a moment this year to remember the life, lessons, and legacy of President Reagan in their own way, we are grateful for this partnership and we are honored by the leadership Austin will bring to the national youth leadership council."


The NASCAR tribute video is available now at the Ronald Reagan Foundation's YouTube channel located here: www.youtube.com/reaganfoundation.

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