NASCAR Nationwide Series: Ford EcoBoost 300
Topics: Ford EcoBoost 300
November 17, 2012
KERRY THARP: At this time we're about going to call up Brendan Gaughan, our third place finisher, and Austin Dillon, came in fifth today, and he's also the Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series. First of all, let's hear from Brendan. That's a super run out there for you this evening driving the No.33 South Point Chevrolet. Talk about your run out there tonight.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN: We were fast all night, and Ernie Cope and the boys gave me a Chevrolet that could run there, and that's been the story of my season with Richard Childress Racing this year is to come here and prove that I can run back up there, and tonight was no exception. We had a great, great race car. Our Chevrolet in the middle actually one restart I got around my teammates, and I've been in these championship battles before, and when you see the 3 and the 2 and the 6 all near each other, I figured that discretion was the better part of valor and backed out for one restart and Ernie Cope kind of barks at me when I do that. But I know what these guys are running for, and I'm not going to be the guy that causes it.
And then at the end they're all running there, I was starting on the outside right behind Elliott Sadler, and I got a great restart, our Chevrolet went to the front, and I got clear sailing right behind Kyle Busch, and any time you're racing next to Kyle Busch you know you're doing something right, and I was catching him. And I put our 33 Chevy into the wall just a little too hard in 1 and 2 with about three to go trial to catch Kyle and wanting to get one more spot.
We were a great Chevrolet all night. Thank you, Ernie Cope, thank you, 31 Caterpillar boys. That was the guys who pitted me tonight, and I don't know about the entire RCR organization, Austin can answer this better, but if there's a better team over the wall than the 31, I have no clue who it is. Those guys, Pop‑Tart and all the guys are absolutely amazing, and really appreciate Richard letting me have those guys most of this year for my races.
KERRY THARP: Let's hear now from our 2012 Sunoco NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Austin Dillon. Terrific season that you had your first season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Talk about it. You were in contention for the championship, gave it all you had, and just talk about the performance you thought the 3 team had not only tonight but maybe over the course of the season.
AUSTIN DILLON: I'll start with tonight. We started off decent, just really loose, and our guys did a great job adjusting. That's what we wanted to‑‑ this was our night to practice for next year and make sure we had speed and make sure our balance was right going into this next year and take some good notes for this racetrack.
I had a blast out there. We had a really good race car in the middle of the race. We bolted tires on and took off, and the next set of tires I got a little tight but I was still good, just the last restart I'm still working on them. I thought I had a good restart, I just got put three wide there when they lagged back on the inside. I think I would have been okay on the top, but it didn't work out for us and we were able to come back to fifth.
It was some fun racing there at the end. I felt like I was sliding around, slide jobbing, it was crazy, it was kind of a blast, kind of going back to dirt racing a little bit. I love Homestead to race here. It's a blast because you can move around, find speed, and really carry momentum to make passes.
As for the year, going into this year as a rookie, you set goals and you try and set them really high, and we did, and we were able to break a few records I think this year with the amount of finishes we had up front, and doing what we did and to give ourselves a chance going into Homestead for a championship, that was awesome. I want to congratulate Ricky for a great season. I tried to give it all there at the end and make sure I stayed in front of him, but it was fun racing against him all year, and I wish him well next year.
Q. Austin, did the track really change radically throughout the course of that race, because Kyle was untouchable early, then I think at one point you got out to an eight‑second lead and then Regan was really strong. It looked like the handling characteristics were all over the place.
AUSTIN DILLON: We had an idea going into tonight where we wanted to be at the beginning, and we were able to capitalize on that when the sun went down and the track cooled down. We made the right adjustments early, we got our adjustments early; that's why you saw us go to the back on that one pit stop, the green flag pit stop. We had put a rubber and some other things to make sure we were ready for that track change, and it worked out for us. As soon as we took tires, it was like‑‑ it was over. We went to the front so fast, it was a blast being out there and racing like that.
KERRY THARP: Austin and Brendan, certainly congratulations on your performance here tonight and over the course of the season and 2012 Nationwide Series. You've conducted yourselves with a lot of class and certainly been outstanding competition. Thank you very much.
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