NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Ford 200
Topics: Ford 200
November 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our championship race team in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. It's the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, driver is Austin Dillon, our crew chief is Danny Stockman, Jr., and our owner is Richard Childress. This is Richard Childress' second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers' championship. His first came in the inaugural season in 1995 with driver Mike Skinner. And crew chief Danny Stockman, this is your first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
Richard, you talked to me out in the hall. You've had a lot of championships, but how does this one rank.
RICHARD CHILDRESS: It's got to be right up there at the top. It's so special when you're family. Our whole family is involved, and I remember the very first championship with Dale Earnhardt. I had the same feeling tonight watching Austin, my grandson. It's just so special to have the family and know how hard all of them worked.
I was at Ohio, Toledo, when Ty won his championship a few weeks ago, and just it's a dream come true to have both these young men win championships.
And Danny Stockman, Bass Pro, everybody did so much to help put it together, and Austin kept it together so good under the pressure. For a 21-year-old guy -- man, to be able to hang in there and do what he did was very special.
THE MODERATOR: Speaking of which, our championship driver has joined us now. That's Austin Dillon. He drives the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. At 21 years, six months and 22 days, he becomes the youngest champion in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history. Congratulations, Austin. Tell us what it's like to win a championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
AUSTIN DILLON: How does it feel? Amazing, best feeling I've ever had in my entire life. I'm so happy for my grandfather. He's got two champs this year. I'm worried about Ty coming back and beating me for the youngest champion ever. He's pretty awesome.
It's going to be a wonderful week, a wonderful month. Can't ask to go out of the Truck Series any better than this, coming out as a champion.
Danny Stockman has done a great job this year. We're all a family over at RCR, and we fight like dogs, but we love each other the same. It's cool that we're out there, a championship. It was wild. The last restart was not the way I planned it. It made it interesting, but we still came out on top.
THE MODERATOR: Danny Stockman, talk about being the crew chief for this championship team.
DANNY STOCKMAN: Yeah, like Austin said, the last restart was quite gut-wrenching. Just awesome to be a part of this deal with Richard and Mike and Austin and Tina and everybody that just let me have this opportunity to be a part of it. Austin Dillon being a great race car driver, up-and-coming race car driver, just really glad to be a part of it. Got a heck of a good race team, and just got to thank everybody back at the shop there. Really good.
Q. Austin, a little more detail on that last restart. Was it a tire issue? And I think Hornaday said when he went by you there that he saw oil or something like that. Was that communicated to you, as well?
AUSTIN DILLON: I didn't see the oil, but I know right behind the right front fender we were knocked in. I don't know what happened. I didn't hit anybody on the track, but I think it happened on pit road. We got really tight once I got back there, but I think it was more the conservative side when I was three wide. We were three wide in the middle, and to force a spot right there is not worth it.
I wish we would have finished -- I think we had a shot to win the race. We really had a fast race car. When you get back there in that situation, your head tells you to be smart, but at the same time they're telling you to go because you're close there. I went as hard as I could, started entering the corner harder at the end and helped us out. But we got really tight when the fender got knocked in. I think it was close really with the fender, but the rain came at the right time, the Lord was looking after us, and it's really cool to be where we are today.
Q. Austin, I want to say you didn't really say anything on the radio as you were falling back there or even for the few laps after that. Did you not want to say anything? What was going through your head?
AUSTIN DILLON: There was no need to, just focus and get back on the wheel. When you get down like that, you can't do anything but drive back to the front, and we've done that all year. I've struggled in certain spots and restarts. Actually my restarts have been really great to the end of the year. That one wasn't a bad restart. I kind of -- Johnny went -- I didn't anticipate as well as I needed to, and when Denny stuck me three wide, I probably could have made something out of it in the middle, could have got to the top quicker, but I didn't know who was out there and no one said clear on the radio, so we obviously weren't.
When you get three wide, and these trucks, the air pushes you around so much it's hard to run three wide, and down the back stretch it was really hairy, so I just rolled out a little bit, got back in line and went to working on everybody in front of me and were able to pass quite a few of them.
Q. Can you just talk about what the last six, seven weeks have been like? You're leading the points coming out of each of these last six or seven races. Has it been nerve-wracking or has it been easier to handle than you thought?
AUSTIN DILLON: You know, watching these guys in the Cup Series talk to each other, it's pretty wild. I listen to Tony Stewart and I listen to Carl Edwards and the different approaches they take to it. Offense is your best defense most of the time in racing, and I felt like today I probably played too much defense. It wasn't enough offense, and my grandfather got onto me midway through the race and said, You can't get comfortable here, you've got to keep racing. Went back and got on the wheel and drove up through a bunch of them and found ourselves in second.
We had a fast race car there at the end, and when we got three wide, I had to play conservative because it wasn't worth it. It worked out for the better of everything, and leading up to this week, I've just been hunting and fishing, doing stuff I love to do, keep my mind off of it, hanging out with the people I always hang out with, talking to Danny, preparing ourselves the way we do for every race.
There's no difference coming into the championship. You can't approach things different. When you're sitting outside the lead, you can take more chances, that's for sure. Johnny could take more chances today than we could, Buescher the same way, they have nothing to lose. Stewart is right, he has nothing to lose for Sunday. It's hard to play offense. You've got to play off, though. My best advice to Carl is to go out there and play offense, go out there -- he knows what he has to do. They have a different situation; they're very close in points. There's a benefit there.
I actually talked to Ricky Carmichael, he's won lots of championships, and I was talking to him and he said the closest championship was probably the easiest because he knew what he had to do.
16th was what we were supposed to finish to win, and we knew that going in, and got us a top 10, so we did our job.
Q. That said, Austin, what was today like, because it wasn't maybe a normal day because of the rain and everything. Was there a chance for nerves to get in? And with winning the championship, what's your experience so far? Is it everything you thought it would be?
AUSTIN DILLON: Today with the rain, it did make it -- you had to think a little bit more, I guess. You could think about it longer. But I actually watched a Clint Eastwood movie during the middle of the day. That was pretty cool. It kept my mind off it. I laughed a few times. It was the one with the chimpanzee. "Any Which Way But Loose" is what I watched today. I watched it with my buddy Tim Dugger and my girlfriend and his girlfriend, we just hung out and watched the movie and waited on everything, and when it got down to it, started listening to my music, had our team meeting. That's when we all get emotional is in our team meeting because we all know why we're here, and it was really cool, we all had a big prayer session before, and I told them I was nervous going in, as nervous as they are, but we've got to go do our job, and we did it.
Q. What about winning the championship?
AUSTIN DILLON: The championship, yeah, it's amazing. You get to spray champagne everywhere. You're on top of the world. It's the best feeling in the world. You stink real bad. Darrell Waltrip told me the best feeling in the world is going home stinking and having a trophy in your lap, and we were able to do that. I think now I'm more nervous about making a speech Monday, but we'll figure that out. I've got some time.
Q. Going back to your celebration, are you maybe the first NASCAR champion to try planking on concrete?
AUSTIN DILLON: Yeah, the planking is cool. It's something new. I feel like the good thing about NASCAR, we've got some really good drivers coming up. I am friends with a bunch of them that are going to represent the sport well. I think NASCAR has a lot to look forward to going forward. I feel that the newer fans coming in are young, and it's really cool for sponsors, and I love the social media network, and I'll be out there having fun any way I can. Yeah, I think that was one of the coolest planks you can do, I guess, winning a championship and then planking.
Q. Maybe your riskiest move of the night, too?
AUSTIN DILLON: That was probably my riskiest move, yeah. But it was wet enough where I could have got a little slide, and I have Sparco suit, so it's the best suit in the world.
Q. You didn't think about "Tebowing," did you?
AUSTIN DILLON: Yeah, I kind of did. I pointed up when I was over the car. I didn't get down on one knee, but that would have been cool to Tebow. He got it done last night, too; it was pretty impressive.
Q. What were you thinking when the rains came? Did you figure you had it at that particular time?
AUSTIN DILLON: Never thought about it. Andy Houston, my spotter, said, That's probably going to be it, man, and I stayed in the truck and waited for the signal. It kind of drizzled, it was drizzling, and I knew they had lost the track because it was so slippery driving around under caution, and my grandfather said, Do not spin out under caution; slow down. I said, Wow, if I do this, that would be really a good way to lose the championship, rolling around under rain, so I backed her off and pulled in, and Hermie Sadler told me I won the championship, so I started celebrating and planked.
Actually, you know what, I did play some Xbox this week and tweeted my Xbox Live name and had like 50 people play Xbox Live Call of Duty with me. That was pretty fun, too. That was my RCR clan. It was good. I ended up on top like three times, but it was cool because everybody was going to tune into the championship, and they're like mention the RCR clan in victory lane. I didn't do it, but I got it in the media center, so I'm going to go back and play with them and talk to them about the championship. It's cool, I interacted with fans that way.
Q. For Richard, what do you think allowed him to have the poise and everything to hold onto this lead in the points the last seven weeks, and is there anything that he's done that -- you obviously have watched him race since he was little, but is there anything he's done in the last two months that either particularly impressed you or surprised you?
RICHARD CHILDRESS: I think watching the race at Texas was the key to winning this championship. He was conservative when he had to be and he raced hard when he had to be. I think that was a big win -- we finished second, but it was a great run, and I think going into tonight, he -- I haven't talked to him a whole lot this week because I didn't want to add any extra pressure. He handles pressure better than a lot of people his age, he and his brother does, Ty. I couldn't believe with the way he handled himself in the ARCA championship. They must get it from their mom because me and their dad gets a little wound up sometimes.
One other thing: Tonight with Johnny winning, that was 51 wins for ECR, and I told them at our kickoff banquet last year that they won 50 last year, so I told them you've got to beat it this year, so tonight made it 51. Great job for ECR.
Q. With the strength and the momentum you have after winning this championship, you're taking the entire team with you to the Nationwide Series. What are you expecting for next season?
AUSTIN DILLON: Yeah, we've built a great team going into 2012. We've been working a little bit leading up to this race, and Stockman has been really harping on -- worried about this race, not worried about next year. But we're so excited I can't wait. It's going to be amazing, feel like we can do it again. Two in a row would be awesome, just keep moving up and doing our job and we'll be there at the end.
I was able to run some really good races with the Nationwide Series this year, and I feel like we stack up well, and we'll have similar equipment. RCR and Pop-Pop always make sure we have the best, and we'll go out there and do our job in that No. 3.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to the No. 3 truck, Austin, Danny and Richard.
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