By Joseph Wolkin
The No. 3 car has not won a race at NASCAR’s premier division since 2000. However, Austin Dillon is inching in on changing that. The Richard Childress Racing driver is having a career-best year, with three top 5s and nine top 10s thus far, aiming for a Chase spot for the first time in his third full Sprint Cup season.
With the positive results, how much more confidence do you have when you unload off the truck?
“It makes it a lot more comfortable when you get there. You know you’re going to have speed and if not, you’re going to work to get it. Communication is a big thing, and our team has been working really hard even when we don’t unload fast to work through things and get our car faster as it goes.”
What’s been the biggest difference between the set-ups this year compared to last?
“The aero package has been big, and there have been subtle changes we make every weekend to get our cars closer. As far as major changes, there haven’t been a whole lot. It’s the same core type of stuff. We’re just trying to get our bodies better, our motors better and every little part that makes it run.”
What impact has “Slugger” Labbe had on your team after joining you around halfway through last season?
“He’s done a really good job. He’s one of the main guys about that culture change. He’s a very aggressive person who wants to get all out of the racecar every weekend. That’s what we started preaching to everyone in our organization. We have to be that way. Every person has to take their job that seriously.”