Ty Dillon: “I Want to Do Good for Tony”by Kyle Pokrefky February 26, 2016 0 comments
With Tony Stewart’s preseason injury, a driverless void opened up for the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet until the three-time champion is set to return to his seat.
In the Daytona 500, Brian Vickers piloted the car to a 26th-place finish and is to hand over the steering wheel to XFINITY Series regular Ty Dillon for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Turning 24 years of age on Saturday, Dillon is set to make his second start of the Sprint Cup season, having competed in the Daytona 500 with Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing.
Speaking at Atlanta on Friday morning, the younger Dillon brother out of the Richard Childress Racing stable says he is thankful for the opportunity despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his appointment.
“First of all, I have to thank Stewart-Haas Racing for the opportunity to be in the 14 car,” Dillon said. “I think everyone wants to see Tony in this car.
“With those unfortunate circumstances, I was able to be in the car this weekend, which is good for me to get the experience in such great equipment. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity. It’s an honor to drive the 14 for Tony.
“I have high expectations for this weekend. I said it earlier in the week that I always set my goals high. I want to run good in this car.”
The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet in the XFINITY Series wishes to turn in a strong performance for the injured Stewart and his team and is using both as motivation heading into the weekend.
“I want to do good for Tony and Stewart-Haas Racing,” Dillon continued. “I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to run in the top-10 or top-15. I’m going to give it all I have.
With his ride for Sunday’s 325-lap race, this weekend will mark the first time in his NASCAR career that Dillon will compete in a stock car that was not prepared in some way by the RCR organization.
Dillon admits it is a different feeling working with a non-RCR-affiliated group, but, if anything, it’ll greatly help his development as a driver.
“I’ve been used to having one company my whole life that I’ve worked with,” Dillon noted. “This whole week I’ve been at Stewart-Haas, talking to those guys and getting to know them.
“It’s been great and an awesome experience for me to. It’s helped me grow not just as a driver but as a person and learning how to go about things different.
“I’m excited for what this brings. It’s definitely a different feeling coming into this weekend but it’s not a worse feeling. It’s really good.”
With a solid team underneath him for the weekend on the Sprint Cup side (and on the XFINITY side as well), Dillon is ready to do business.
“I have one job to do, and that’s drive the race car as fast I can,” Dillon stated. “I know Stewart-Haas is going to give me the best equipment possible. I’m going to get in there and work has hard as I can from the first time I’m in the race car.
“We’re going to make the best out of the situation.”
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images