TALLADEGA — Now that the racing is underway at Talladega Superspeedway’s revamped facilities, reactions are trickling in from drivers and fans as they are settling into the new digs.
Austin Dillon, the driver of Richard Childress Racing’s storied #3 Chevrolet, offered a complimentary assessment of the facility during an interview with Yellowhammer News on Saturday.
“The new garage looks excellent,” he said. “Everything they drew up in the pictures when they were announcing they were going to do this, it looks identical. It’s great for our fans. It’s a great place to come.”
“I’m a huge sports fan in general,” he continued. “When we update our facilities to compete with these other sports, I think it means a lot, and it goes a long way with our fans.”
Dillon said that with the new features, he is able to get a few more autographs in with fans and have conversations.
Restrictor plate racing has also changed this season, of which Dillon spoke approvingly.
“There’s a little more horsepower out there, but the downforce level is pretty high,” he said. “It’s just a little more driving it throughout the race, which is nice. The car seems to handle pretty good. We put on a good show. I like the way the manufacturers are working together now and have kind of created a different type of racing. You see the manufacturer-driven, working together. It’s cool.”
Dillon currently sits 23rd in NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR points outside of the playoffs. However, he is hoping to have late-season success to build on for 2020.
“We want to build some momentum going into next year,” Dillon said. “Obviously we didn’t finish where we wanted to be here this year, this season, not making the playoffs. But we showed speed at certain times. We need to get back on track with some consistency throughout the end of the year, just being consistent, finishing where we should finish – a couple of top 10s for sure is where we’d like to be, and maybe steal a win by the end of the year.”
According to the veteran racecar driver, Talladega remains a unique facility, given its tradition and folklore.
“Talladega is a fun place,” he said. “We were just talking about Talladega Boulevard, the legends and the myths that come around this place. It’s a fun track to come to. It’s more relaxed for us drivers. But when you get on the track, it’s probably the most intense weekend for us. So, we enjoy coming here because you never know what would unfold and what it would look like in the end. That could put some of the most memorable moments in NASCAR history here.”
Partnered with Dillon’s effort this weekend at Talladega is General Motors Co.’s “BuyPower Card.” Dillon touted it as a useful product for NASCAR fans.
“It’s really cool,” Dillon said. “I’m a car enthusiast, a car guy. The GM BuyPower Card – you can put it toward different extras on your car, SiriusXM, oil change – whatever it may be you want to do, buy a new car. You can do that with the new GM BuyPower Card. I’m pumped to be a part of this partnership and feel like it is a good partnership, given I’ll be on the racetrack this weekend. Any fan that comes to the track has to stop and get gas, do different things getting here. I think it is the card for our fans in NASCAR.”
Dillon went on to point out Talladega Superspeedway was where Richard Childress Racing’s roots lie, calling it a memorable place for his car owner, Richard Childress.
“Everything started here,” he said. “So when we come here at RCR, the boss man wants to run good. He loves this place, loves seeing speed, showcase our engines – everything. This has been a memorable place for him, and we’d love to put him back in victory lane here.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.