MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 27, 2018
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW SCOOPER CAT CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Talladega Superspeedway and discussed his outlook for this weekend’s race at Talladega, the incident in final practice, his thoughts on what kind of race this superspeedway package will produce and many other topics. Full Transcript:
HOW IS YOUR CAR TODAY AND WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND?
“Well, right now it’s pretty good and hopefully later on it will be good. Yeah, that was a wild wreck on the backstretch. Luckily, we were a little late getting out there and that kind of worked into our advantage not getting in that. I hate that for those guys. That stinks. I never figured out what happened was it right-rear tire? Left-rear tire… yeah… so the unfortunate thing is he left the ground. I think that was something we were trying to solve. So, that is kind of unfortunate, but that is probably the fastest part of the track there on the backstretch everything is flat and carrying that much speed you get hit there it’s hard to keep the car on the ground going that fast and where it’s at.”
WHEN YOU SEE A CRASH LIKE THAT DOES IT EVER MAKE YOU THINK THAT YOU SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT GO OUT AND DRAFT IN PRACTICE?
“Well, the biggest thing is getting the travels right that the car is not going to have something like that happen. I mean I don’t know if he ran over something or if he cut it himself just being too low in the rear or something broke to cut the left-rear tire. For us, getting in the draft to get it to travel to max travel is pretty important to run the speeds that we are going to run at the race. So, when the car travels and gets lower or higher or whatever it does, we know nothing is going to be hitting, dragging on the track. That is kind of the reason we do it and then also, the drivability part of it is if you don’t get out there and you can’t really get a good assessment by yourself how your car is driving. Qualifying trim doesn’t really do that because you change stuff going into the race whether it be air pressure and what not, what you can change. So, you want to have a balance for your car and see if you can adjust it to make it drive better so you can stay in the gas longer in the race. Yeah, no, it’s tough because you want to be in… I think a controlled pack is pretty important like a group of six not trying to make moves, but each person kind of swapping to see how their car moves around that is pretty good. But, you saw it right there it got a little big, but truthfully, that pack, my spotter had just told me he said this pack looks fine no one is moving around, no one is doing anything crazy and then the backstretch happened. There is nothing you can do about a left-rear tire that is the tough part you just lose a car on something that is nothing you had to do with and then other guys lost cars too because you are just packed in there. It’s part of superspeedway racing.”
CAN YOU TELL THAT YOU ARE GOING FASTER THIS YEAR COMPARED TO IN THE FALL?
“Truthfully, I don’t feel a whole lot different out there, but last year was a long time ago I feel like. They feel similar to what they felt like at Daytona, but you’ve got more grip here so I think that this place being so big it kind of feels slower. You don’t know the speed that you are traveling here because of how big the track is. Daytona is a little bit tighter and you are having to turn the wheel more because the radius of the corner is a little tighter. Yeah, it’s just a different feeling. I don’t feel much difference from the last race until now, other than I’ve got a kitty cat on the hood.”
HOW DOES PAUL SWAN MESH WITH YOUR CREW AND HOW DO YOU THINK HIS TIME AS A FOOTBALL PLAYER AT BOWLING GREEN KIND OF HELPED ME BE A TEAM MEMBER AND DO WELL WITH YOUR TEAM NOW?
“Well he definitely took some partying techniques from Bowling Green. He does pretty good on partying, but no, he is my buddy he actually is getting ready to marry my wife’s best friend. We have a really good relationship and it’s cool Paul and Darrel I watched them start pretty much gluing up lugnuts, no clue about racing and their athletic ability allowed them to move through the pit crew very fast and get to the No. 3 team from Trucks to Xfinity and kind of move up through that process faster than most people would these days and it’s just a testament to the athletes that we have today out here. I love to showcase my guys. I took them to Fort Bragg yesterday and had the whole team there. We got three college athletes and then two other guys that are very athletic also that change tires and have been doing it a long time. So, it’s cool meshing the group that we have with experience and youth. Which I’m sure that college football background definitely has helped him with his mentality to grow fast.
ON THE RULES PACKAGE AT SUPERSPEEDWAYS:
“Yeah and I think people have gotten better since Daytona. I feel like the cars people have figured out the package probably more than they have since Daytona. That might be some of your faster speeds too. The runs, the packs never got big enough today to really feel the runs. I had one run and pretty cool it was from the No. 31 (Ryan Newman) and No. 43 (Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace, Jr.) down the backstretch and seemed to push me pretty far out in front of the group. So, I think there will be some big runs come Sunday. I think it will be another one of those races where what do you decide to do? Do you decide to be aggressive and race or do you make it to the end, strategy will play a big part of it, but I think there will be quite a few cars that will swap for the lead. It seems like there is a wide variety of fast cars. I saw the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and No. 11 (Denny Hamlin) they looked pretty good. The No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) looked fast. There are a lot of different guys that seem to have speed, the No. 43 had some speed too. There will be some guys there come Sunday swapping for it for sure.”