News & Media

Dillon transfers championship feel to Trucks in '12

December 23, 2011, Dave Rodman,

Before the 2011 season ended, ARCA Racing Series champion Ty Dillon knew he'd use his same Richard Childress Racing team to follow his older brother Austin's lead in pursuit of the 2012 Camping World Truck Series championship.

But while Ty, 19, can finally reveal the details of what he and his brother's grandfather, Richard Childress, hopes will be RCR's second consecutive twin-championship season; Ty also finally has the most key piece of the puzzle.

"We're ready to fight for wins and we have the confidence that we can go out and win races next year. We've all got the confidence in each other, we're looking forward to it and we're going to do whatever it takes. "


Johnny Morris' Bass Pro Shops will sponsor Ty Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet as the Truck Series' rookie attempts to do in 2012 what Austin Dillon, 21, did in 2010 and 2011 -- win Truck Series' rookie of the year and championship titles. Ty's ARCA championship also came in his rookie season.

Ty will use the same vehicle number and many of the same trucks his brother used to win four races and 12 poles in the past two seasons.

Later Friday, Bass Pro also will announce its intention to sponsor five races during Austin Dillon's rookie efforts in the 2012 Nationwide Series in a No. 3 Chevrolet fielded by RCR, in addition to a full-season associate sponsorship.

"We are pleased to once again partner with our good friend and hunting buddy Richard Childress for the 2012 racing season," Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said. "Austin and Ty are both remarkably talented racers with a promising future ahead of them. They are also tremendous ambassadors for the outdoors and hunting and fishing. I look forward to seeing them both race and hopefully spending a little time with them and grandpa out hunting or fishing."

At Texas in November, Childress announced Austin's Truck Series championship team led by crew chief Danny Stockman would move to the Nationwide Series with primary sponsorship for 20 of 33 races from AdvoCare.

With Friday's announcements it's hard to figure, on the verge of Christmas, who's more excited among the quartet -- team owner Childress, the young Dillons, or their father, RCR vice president of competition Mike Dillon.

"We're getting into Austin's equipment, but it's my team -- my guys from the past year," Ty Dillon said. "We're moving up, but we have expectations. We went out in our first season together as a whole young team and won a championship and seven races.

"It was in the ARCA Series, but if you can do that in any series, it's amazing. But we have high expectations because Austin and his guys have built such great race trucks and they've ran so well."

Ty Dillon also won seven ARCA poles, but he really turned heads in the Truck Series when, after making a relatively low-key debut at Kentucky by qualifying 15th and finishing 18th, he qualified eighth and finished third at Texas and then qualified second and finished sixth in the Homestead finale.

"I'm telling you," an ecstatic Childress said in an aside on pit road post-race at Texas, "[Ty's] going to be tough for these guys to deal with."

"I think we're ready to live up to those expectations," said Ty, who'll turn 20 on Feb. 27. "We're ready to fight for wins and we have the confidence that we can go out and win races next year.

"We've all got the confidence in each other, we're looking forward to it and we're going to do whatever it takes."

Family connections run throughout RCR, even when they're not blood relations. Ty Dillon's champion ARCA crew chief, Scott Naset, worked with Mike Dillon when the elder Dillon raced in the then Busch Series for RCR. In 2010, Naset was Austin Dillon's Truck Series 2010 truck chief before moving to ARCA, and now, back to trucks with Ty.

"We ran really well at Kentucky and that's what got us [to Texas]," Dillon said of his Kentucky Truck debut. Sponsorship was a scramble at the end of the season, but Friday's announcement eases that worry.

Now, the Dillons can be most concerned with their intense in-house competition.

"We really enjoy [the sibling rivalry] but we take it seriously because Austin and I are such competitive people -- mainly against each other," Ty said of his brother, two years older. "We both want to be the best, at everything. And when it comes down to us being in the same sport and doing the same things we're always trying to out-do each other.

"But as bad as we want to out-do each other, we both want to see each other succeed. We work together in everything. I live, pretty much right beside him and we're best friends. We spend all the time in the world talking about racing and what we love.

"We're always going to battle and if we can keep battling and pushing each other to win races and fighting for leads and fighting for wins and championships -- it'll take us far together and having each other to fight off of is going to be pretty cool."