Race Weekend Central

Beyond the Cockpit: Mike Dillon of RCR on His Kids, the Economy & More

CLERMONT, Ind. – Mike Dillon is the Vice President of Competition for Richard Childress Racing and the owner of Team Dillon Racing, the organization’s development team. He is also the father of two of the future drivers for RCR, Austin and Ty Dillon, who are both having exceptional seasons down in Truck and ARCA, respectively while building up their talented resumes to advance.

Both of his sons have scored wins in the last couple of weeks and, with a little bit of luck will very much be in the hunt for the championships in the series that they compete in full-time. After Ty’s victory at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in the ARCA series this past weekend (July 28), Frontstretch caught up with Dillon on the front straight and got a few, quick questions with his feelings on a few different subjects.

Mike Neff, Frontstretch: Hey Mike, y’all have been having a pretty good run of late. Two wins and a third place finish is a pretty nice streak.

Mike Dillon: We do have a little bit of momentum on our side right now. The Lord has definitely been looking down on us.

Neff: It must certainly make you feel proud to see your kids doing so well.

Mike Dillon: Well, I got sick last year and there is no question that it allowed me to see things a lot differently than I used to. I learned what the most important things were in life.

Neff: That will most definitely change the way a person handles things in life. Do you feel like that feeling is permeating the organization?

Dillon: It has made a difference, that’s for sure. Make sure you write this. We have the best group of people that has ever been at RCR from the top to the bottom. We have the best people in every single position in the company and that has positioned us to have the success that we’re having now.

Neff: Has RCR been increasing their payroll with the addition of the fourth team this year?

Dillon: The economy has certainly hurt a lot of teams but it has really helped us. We’ve been able to pick up a lot of talented guys who lost their jobs with other teams. We have a whole group who love what we’re doing. We all love doing what we love to do.

Neff: It seems like everyone around your teams is having a lot of fun. Winning must contribute quite a bit to that.

Dillon: There is no question that being competitive is fun. When you run up front, you learn a lot of things. Most of those come from mistakes made when decisions are being made. Over time, the teams will learn to make the right decisions and that is what it takes to be winners and champions.

The night after this interview, Austin Dillon had a strong run in the Camping World Truck Series race at Raceway Park. Unfortunately, he was run into the outside wall coming to the white flag by Todd Bodine, who later acknowledged it was his mistake, and slowed to a ninth-place finish. After the race, the trucks pulled onto pit lane and Dillon’s entered at the end of the front straight instead of at the beginning.

Truck series officials stopped Dillon from proceeding until all of the other trucks had passed by. When Bodine got close, Dillon attempted to block his path to show his frustration and nearly ran over two of the officials as a result. It could have been a fineable offense, especially if he went any further; instead, common sense got the best of him. He calmed down, apologized to the officials and then slowly moved his truck out of the way. It was just another of those calm, collected decisions that the team has learned how to make this season.

About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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