Elliott tries to reconcile; Dillon ignores
September 07, 2013, Pat DeCola, NASCAR.com
NEWTON, Iowa -- Nearly a week later, Ty Dillon is still upset.
Fifty-eight points behind series leader Matt Crafton, but very much in the running for his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title, Dillon appeared to be on his way to earning his second victory of the season last week at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park until being nosed out of the way by rookie Chase Elliott coming around the final turn in the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Elliott maintained control of his No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine Chevrolet through the scuffle to become the youngest winner in series history, while Dillon wrecked out to finish 17th as the last truck on the lead lap.
Rather than pulling closer to Crafton heading into one of his best tracks this weekend at Iowa Speedway, Dillon now sits 63 points behind the ThorSport Racing veteran.
“I’m still very upset about what happened last week and I think he still has a lesson to learn,” said Dillon of Elliott, who has run six races this season. “It was a very unfortunate deal. It just wasn’t a very smart situation on either part. Needless to say we’re very upset, but I’m not going to let it eat me up. No, I don’t plan on talking to him. Not at all.”
While the two haven’t exchanged words since Dillon stuck his head in the window of Elliott’s No. 94 Silverado to give him an earful, it appears the 17-year-old has put in an honest effort to make contact.
“He’s tried to approach me, but I don’t really accept people wrecking me and then trying to apologize,” Dillon said. “When they apologize, they obviously know they did wrong.”
“I attempted to (clear the air with Ty),” said Elliott. “I tried to reach out to him. … I left him a message and told him I’d like to talk about it. I had some things that I wanted to say to him that I didn’t want to leave unsaid and I felt it was the right thing to do. It was his decision whether or not he wanted to answer it and it was his decision whether or not he wanted to call me back and he didn’t do either one of them, so that’s completely his choice. I felt like I did what I needed to do to reach out to him or at least try to.”
Until Dillon hears Elliott out, the two appear to be at an impasse. While Elliott wants to reconcile and move on, he doesn’t appear to regret his decision, saying simply, “I felt like I was in the right to take a chance and go for the win.” Now the question remains as to what will happen between the two trucks Sunday in the Fan Appreciation 200 presented by New Holland (2 p.m. ET, FS1).
Dillon told Elliott after last week's race that he would retaliate at Iowa, but he can’t afford to risk any damage to his own truck while in the hunt for points -- especially if the effort is to wreck a non-championship competitor.
“I’m sure he won’t (try to bump me),” said Dillon. “I think he’s a little worried, so I’m not too worried about him. My main focus is to win the race and if it comes to it, we’ll see what happens.”
“We’ll just have to see what happens,” said Elliott. “Just watching these things in the past, I’m sure we’re going to qualify right next to each other and I’m sure we’re going to run right next to each other all day long, so I’m sure the opportunity is going to present itself. If he wants to try to wreck me, I’m sure that he’ll have a chance to. That’s just the way it works every time, no matter who it is. If he takes a shot at us, we’ll play it by ear.”
The Elliotts are no strangers to run-ins with No. 3 rides owned by Richard Childress, as Chase’s father and 1988 Cup Series champion, Bill Elliott, famously feuded with Dale Earnhardt in 1987. Childress, of course, is Dillon’s grandfather. Naturally, the senior Elliott had some advice for his son.
“(My dad and I) have obviously talked about it a lot this week,” said Elliott. “My dad’s been in a lot of situations over the years that are ironically very, very similar to the one I’m in right now with Ty. Same as my dad over the years, stuff happens and he’s never intentionally tried to wreck somebody and I’m in the same boat as him. I wasn’t trying to wreck Ty, but that’s the bottom line and we’ll just move on.”