This Week’s Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 334 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is a new addition to the RCR fleet that is being utilized for the first time this week.
Dillon at Daytona … Although this year’s Daytona 500 marks Dillon’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series attempt at DIS, the Welcome, N.C., driver has a pair of top-five finishes at the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He finished fifth in February 2012 and fourth in July 2012. In addition, He has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the track with a best finish of 20th in 2011.
Welcome, Buzz … Dillon’s pal Buzz, the official SpokesBee of Honey Nut Cheerios, will be featured on the hood of the No. 33 Chevrolet for the Great American Race. This marks the fifth year of Richard Childress Racing’s partnership with General Mills, which is a major associate sponsor throughout the year in the Sprint Cup Series on the No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet and driver Jeff Burton. Cheerios, America’s No.1 cereal franchise, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats. The nation’s first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America. In fact, one of every eight boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios. General Mills’ popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Peanut Butter Cheerios, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios.
Dillon’s DRIVE4COPD … Dillon’s paternal grandfather, Stan Dillon, passed away following a battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) in May 2012, sparking Dillon to partner with the COPD foundation to encourage all Americans aged 35 or older to log onto www.drive4copd.org/screener to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD, a serious and progressive lung disease that is the third leading cause of death of Americans.If the screener indicates risk, patients are encouraged to take the next step and speak with their healthcare professional or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673) to discuss what their score may mean. Because COPD is a progressive disease that causes irreversible lung damage, early diagnosis and disease management are critical to helping patients breathe better in the future.
Time to Duel … The Budweiser Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. By virtue of qualifying 16th in last Sunday’s qualifying session, Dillon will start eighth in the second of the two qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Double Duty … In addition to competing at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend, Dillon is scheduled to drive the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Daytona Nationwide Series race kicks off a season-long campaign in which Dillon plans to battle for the 2013 Driver’s Title after earning Rookie-of-the-Year honors and finishing third in the final Driver’s Championship Point Standings in 2012. The DRIVE4COPD300 is live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Off Season … Dillon has spent much of the off season hunting throughout the U.S., traveling to locations such as Texas, Kansas, Georgia and Montana to hunt with friends and family members.
This will be your first Daytona 500. What does that mean to you? “The prestige that this race holds and being out here and being able to watch some of RCR’s guys go to Victory Lane throughout the years and be in Victory Lane to celebrate with them has really helped me appreciate the race and made me even more excited to participate myself. It’s just awesome to be able to fire the engine and try and make this race. It’s just a great opportunity and I can’t wait until Sunday comes.”
What did you learn during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in January that might help you here at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 this weekend? “Drafting. It was pretty good to be able to get out there and run near the other drivers and see what the cars handled like. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars didn’t handle as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars. There’s just so much more power and less downforce. We’re out there and it’s going to be wild. You have to be able to be there at the end to make something happen. I think that’s what all of these races come down to. I think we are going to have a shot just like anybody else once we get into the race.”
-Richard Childress Racing PR