NASCAR's Dillon Brothers Return to Their Roots for Circle K Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte
Rising NASCAR stars Austin and Ty Dillon, of Lewisville, N.C., will trade their regular NASCAR rides for a pair of late models as they compete in the World of Outlaws Circle K Late Model Showdown on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The two grandsons of legendary race team owner Richard Childress are no strangers to victory lane at the lightning-fast, four-tenths mile clay oval, with Austin, 22, winning the 2007 and 2009 FASTRAK Late Model Series feature and Ty, 20, earning the checkered flag in the 2008 running of the same event. This year, they’ll compete in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series feature event.
The Dillon brothers are in heated championship battles in their respective NASCAR touring series. Entering this weekend’s races, Austin trails Richard Childress Racing teammate Elliott Sadler by just 25 points in the Nationwide Series standings, while Ty has a one-point lead over James Buescher in the Camping World Truck Series standings.
Austin, who already has a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship title under his belt, credits dirt racing as an important part of his career progression.
“I started at the one-fifth mile behind Charlotte Motor Speedway, went inside and ran the quarter-mile on Tuesday nights for the Summer Shootout Series, and then went across the street to The Dirt Track,” said Dillon. “It’s very cool to see the circle of how everything goes. You see the video game, Dirt to Daytona, and it’s kind of like that, the way I’ve been able to do things. I’m very fortunate in the way that I’ve been able to develop my career.”
In addition to competing in the Circle K Late Model Showdown, Austin is scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ty, who is looking to become the first driver to win the ARCA and Camping World Truck Series titles in consecutive seasons, views dirt racing as a way to improve his asphalt performance.
“The main thing that we learn from dirt is car control,” said the younger Dillon. “Things happen in dirt so much faster than they do on asphalt. Everything slows down when you go to an asphalt car. Anytime we have a chance to go run our super late models on dirt, it’s always beneficial to our asphalt program. I’m looking forward to being at Charlotte.”
Both Austin and Ty have competed in several dirt races in 2012, each claiming a victory in dirt modifieds during the UMP DIRTCar Nationals at Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park in February. The Circle K Late Model Showdown offers them a chance to race with a little less pressure than they usually face.
“It’s fun for us to be able to race and not have to worry about other consequences,” said Ty. “We’re able to just go out there and do what we love to do. You don’t have to worry about points or money, just go and have fun.”
The two will battle current World of Outlaws Late Model points leader and 2008 series champion Darrell Lanigan, 2011 World of Outlaws champion Rick Eckert and 2006 World of Outlaws champion Tim McCreadie at the Wednesday night event.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps for the NDRA Series scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The cars and stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series hit the track for hot laps at 6:20 p.m. followed by qualifying for both series. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7:20 p.m.
Tickets for the Circle K Late Model Showdown are just $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under. Fans can purchase a $99 superticket, which includes admission to the Circle K Late Model Showdown, Bojangles’ Pole Night, Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
For tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455 FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
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