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Dillon hopes to follow in brother’s footsteps

August 13th, 2012 7:30 pm by Jeff Birchfield

Dillon hopes to follow in brother’s footsteps

BRISTOL — Ty Dillon wants to keep up with his big brother.
Driving the black No. 3 Chevrolet on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Dillon’s main goal this season is to win the series’ championship. The 20-year-old from Lewisville, N.C. knows anything less and he will be hearing about it from big brother, Austin, the defending series champion.
“That’s our main goal to win that championship,” said Dillon on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Fan Appreciation Day. “But, we want to win some races first. We have the speed. We just have to put a full race together when we have fast trucks. I think it’s going to come. We have a five or six-week stretch with some good opportunities coming up.”
Next week at Michigan starts that upcoming stretch of races for Dillon, currently second in the Truck Series points. It is followed by the UNOH 200 at Bristol on the following Wednesday.
It will mark Dillon’s first race at Bristol, where his grandfather, Richard Childress has nine Sprint Cup wins as a car owner and his father, Mike Dillon made nine Busch Series starts from 1997-2001. It could present Dillon with the perfect opportunity to take over the Truck Series points lead. He currently trails leader Timothy Peters by eight points.
“I’ve never been here before, but hopefully we will have a good truck,” he said. “If we have a good truck, hopefully we’ll win it. But, I know this is going to be a tough race and a lot of things can happen which can affect the points. If we can survive and get a great finish, it would be awesome.”
He is also excited about the upcoming race at Michigan, where he captured one of his seven ARCA wins last season en’route to that series championship. He found the ARCA Series, which races on tracks as diverse as 3/8-mile bullrings to 1-mile dirt tracks to superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega, as a good place to transition into the Truck Series. However, he added there are significant differences driving the two vehicles.
“It’s quite a bit different with less horsepower and the downforce the truck has,” he said. “You have the drive the trucks harder, so as a race car driver it makes it fun.”
The trucks have been even more fun with 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races. His best finish of the year was second to Kevin Harvick at Martinsville, followed by a third-place run at Kentucky.
While moving up the ladder in NASCAR, their grandfather has encouraged both Ty and Austin to continue racing their UMP Modified and Super Late Model cars on the dirt tracks. With the back end of those machines sliding around, it helps a driver gain a better feel of a loose race car.
It also means the Dillon boys will be pulling double-duty during Bristol race week, running the ‘Scorcher 100’ at Bulls Gap the night following the UNOH 200 Truck Series race at Bristol and one night before Austin races in the Food City 250 for the Nationwide Series.
Ty, who finished 11th in a Super Late Model race at Seymour’s 411 Motor Speedway on Friday night, loves the diversity which comes with racing on the red clay as well as the pavement.
“It keeps you sharp as a race car driver because dirt gives you a different aspect of racing,” he said. “It’s quick racing where you have to learn quick. It helps going to the different tracks whether it’s dirt or asphalt.”
Dillon’s father and grandfather also have insisted the boys take the old-school route of working in the race shop. Dillon feels those decisions of working with the crew have helped on more than one front.
“I’m in the shop every day, spending time with my guys (on the crew) and doing as much as I can,” he said. “It’s fun to be there, something I love to do. It’s important to know about the race car, to be able to explain to the guys what you need. You can pinpoint something on the race car if something does go wrong. To me, it’s just part of the job.”
Obviously, the goal is to get both brothers in the Sprint Cup Series at some point in the future. However, Ty is being patient when it comes to moving up and racing against the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.
“The overall goal is always to go to Cup, but I’m not putting any type of time limit on it,” he said. “I just want to win races in the series I’m in, and then move up at the right time.”

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