News & Media

Ty Dillon on standby for brother Austin at Texas

April 05, 2014, Brad Norman,

Austin Dillon is suffering from what he believes to be a 24-hour virus

RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live | Sign up for RaceView today

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Ty Dillon got his first taste of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action on Saturday -- but it came with a twist. 

With brother Austin Dillon fighting an illness, Ty took laps in the No. 3 Chevrolet during Saturday's final practice in advance of Monday's Duck Commander 500 (Noon ET, FOX).

Austin Dillon, who is ninth in the standings six races into his rookie season, started the practice before ceding the seat to Ty. Austin returned to the car after Ty's run and took the car out in qualifying trim, posting the 23rd-fastest speed of the session (192.623 mph) on his final of 36 laps.

"It's a 24-hour virus, at least I'm hoping," Austin said after exiting the car.

On Sunday, Richard Childress Racing reiterated that it is Austin Dillon's "full intention" to complete all 501 miles of the Duck Commander 500. He attended the driver's meeting Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

If Austin is unable to finish the race, Ty Dillon is his standby driver, which is why the younger Dillon had a little seat time Saturday.

"(Austin's) doing a little better today," team owner Richard Childress said Saturday. "He was really sick (Friday) … and he's just weak and sore. They gave him a shot, and he should be OK. We just put Ty in for insurance. In case he had to run it, NASCAR just wanted him to run a couple laps."

Ty Dillon has never made a Sprint Cup Series start. He has 18 Nationwide Series starts, six of which have come in the No. 3 Chevrolet. The younger Dillon is in his first full-time Nationwide Series season and sits third in the standings following Friday night's ninth-place finish at Texas.

Having both brothers already at the track for their respective series made it easy for Childress to put a plan in place as Austin's condition developed. The backup driver decision became easy.

It's nice to have that, Childress noted, "especially with somebody you believe in."