Austin Dillon Has One Last Playoff Chance

Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER Off Road Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at Daytona International Speedway… Dillon, the 2018 Daytona 500 Champion, has 16 previous starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway, acquiring one pole award, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes, most recently finishing third in this year’s Daytona 500. The Welcome, North Carolina, driver, who grew up attending races at Daytona International Speedway with his family, has 10 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with one win, seven top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has two starts at the track in the NASCAR Truck Series.

Former Pole Winner… Dillon earned his career-first NASCAR Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds) in the 2014 edition of the Daytona 500. It marked the fourth time the No. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and its 67th Cup Series pole, overall. Dillon also started on the front row for the July 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

About Tracker Off Road… Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE prominently features TRACKER ATVs, a game-changing new line of all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides offering breakthrough performance, service and value in the off-road industry. TRACKER OFF ROAD was born out of a powerhouse partnership formed between Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER founder Johnny Morris and Textron Specialized Vehicles, bringing together the undisputed world leader in boating with a global leader in innovation and technology.

About Bass Pro Shops… Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.” Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR, dating back to 1998. For more information, visit


What is your confidence level knowing that Daytona is the final race in the regular season and your last chance to get into the NASCAR Playoffs?

“Yeah, that gives the confidence to you as being the last race of the year. And the situation I am in right now, I think I’ve been in other situations down the road, it would probably be more stressful. But for me, we’re in a little bit of a nothing to lose attitude right now because we’ve got to gain on our teammate, and if not, we’ve got to win somehow. So, Daytona is that place and it gives us an opportunity with our ECR horsepower. I don’t know. We’ve just had the ability to keep that No. 3 at the front when we go to Daytona. I like it. It’s a magical place and I’ve had some great runs there. I’m pumped that it’s the last race of our regular season.”

Last year, Daytona was the regular season finale, you didn’t have to worry about the points situation because you were already locked into the NASCAR Playoffs. Did you notice the racing was much different?
“For some reason, I can’t really recall that particular race. Usually, I’m pretty good at that. But I think we were kind of coasting in because we knew we were in the Playoffs. But Daytona and Talladega always provide a chance for excitement, and with it being the final race of the regular season, there are some that will go about it and say ‘hey, I’ve got to get to the checkered flag to have a chance to have a chance to win,’ and there are some that think they’ve got to lead every lap. I’ll definitely be re-watching the race, and seeing how people played it, and who was aggressive in those moments. It’s so easy to get aggressive and wipe out half the field at Daytona. So many things happen at the speedways with an errant move or an aggressive move and take a lot of people out early. You don’t want to be in that situation. We’ve been successful at the speedways by keeping ourselves up front, but I’ve seen guys get wrecked leading so anything can happen at these places. You’ve got to have a good strategy, a fast car that keeps you out of the way, and a bit of luck.”

Richard Childress Racing at Daytona International Speedway… Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected six points-paying victories at the most-storied racetrack on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns three Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007, Austin Dillon – 2018), three Coke Zero Sugar 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993 and Harvick – 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including a record 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 – 1999).

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Welcome, N.C. organization has captured six wins, 33 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes in a total of 99 starts.

The NASCAR Cup Series’ Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway will be televised live Saturday, August 28, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBC and will be broadcast live on the Motor Radio Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


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