Dillon, 'Dinger make light of past name-calling
May 03, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- It began as a joke about age. It quickly escalated into humorous back-and-forth banter vaguely addressing how certain drivers are viewed in their current situations.
When AJ Allmendinger was asked about being one of the more "seasoned" drivers that qualified up front for Sunday's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, the JTG Daugherty Racing driver couldn't help but respond: "Does that mean I’m old?"
"How long has it been already?," Allmendinger, who made his 200th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start last week in Richmond, Virginia, said Saturday. "Like fine wine, I get better with age."
Allmendinger, 32, will start third, and his No. 47 team has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing and purchases its engines from Earnhardt Childress Racing.
"Old is not bad," quipped Dillon, who is 24 and competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. "It is when you are the rich kid that (it) is bad, you know?"
Dillon is the grandson of team owner Richard Childress and he has heard and no doubt read more than once how some fans believe his ride is more a result of his lineage rather than his talent behind the wheel. A champion in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, Dillon is 12th in Cup points and won the Coors Light Pole for this year's Daytona 500.
"Dang! I'd rather take being the rich kid," Allmendinger said. "Back to the question."
But before the interview could continue, Menard, 33, chimed in.
"You should try being old AND rich," he joked.
The winner of the 2011 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Menard has also heard his share of "daddy's money" comments since joining the Cup Series.
Menard is the son of John Menard, owner of the Menard's home improvement chain. Forbes listed Jon Menard's net worth at $7.7 billion this year.
The gentle back-and-forth, especially because it involved Allmendinger and Dillon, was ideal given that those two had had issues on the track at Darlington earlier this season.
When the two got together during the Bojangles' Southern 500, an upset Allmendinger radioed his crew, saying “Tell RCR that Austin Dillon is a (expletive) prick … (expletive) just runs into me.
"I don't care if we don't have any more race cars after this, I'm wrecking that little rich, punk-ass …"
The comments didn't go unnoticed as Mike Dillon, Austin's father and general manager for RCR, reported the comments to the No. 3 team.
To which Childress calmly replied: "Go over there and tell his owner their engines will be gone."