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Confession: Austin Dillon 'awestruck' by Taylor Swift

RELATED: See photos of NASCAR stars meeting Taylor Swift

 

CONCORD, N.C. -- Even drivers get star struck by seeing celebrities.

During a press conference to discuss the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma and his upcoming 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament, Dillon admitted to being awestruck when meeting singer and seven-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift over the summer.

 

Dillon told the story as he was joined by 12-year-old trauma survivor Louisa "Weezie" Broughton in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center. Broughton suffered a head injury after being struck by a car in Winston-Salem in November of 2014. 

 

RELATED: Read more about Broughton's story

 

The two were part of a contingent that attended a Swift concert at Charlotte in June and got to meet the singer backstage as Swift and her tour sponsor, XFINITY, hosted guests on behalf of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma.

"I was single at the time and I tried to convince her that she ("Weezie") was my little sister," Dillon said. "So we went to meet Taylor Swift and it was like a big deal, that 'my older brother' pulled these tickets off because I wanted to meet Taylor Swift. And that's what our story was when we met Taylor but I choked up and she was good. Her and Taylor were having a great time. I was just kind of like 'oh, wow, its Taylor Swift.' She didn't get as awestruck as I did. I was pretty impressed by that."

The energetic Broughton and her family are Dillon's guest at the track for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and she may even pop over the radio to give the driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet some encouragement.

"She wants everybody to be happy," Dillon said. "She's a motivator for sure. We'll give her a radio and see what she can do."

And for Dillon it's the lasting bonds and relationships that make this interaction special.

"You create a relationship with someone and you want it to last and you want them to get to know you. For me, if she ever needs help with anything, I want to be able to be there for her and kind of go through experiences I've grown up doing."

The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma discovers and shares the best ways to prevent and treat severe injuries in children. The Institute funds research, education and advocacy to help improve the care and treatment injured kids receive across the U.S.

"I am avid outdoorsmen, love to play and get outdoors," Dillon said. "Growing up just me and my brother, going out, riding four-wheelers, riding bikes, different things. We've broken bones and had different injuries, but to go through something like "Weezie" went through is a whole different level of that. I think what the Childress Institute is really doing is teaching the first responders how to work on the youth when they do get hurt."

Dillon's basketball event is on Tuesday, November 3 at High Point University. For more on the event, click here.

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