No Hangover For Dillon, Childress

| , RacinToday.com Monday, February 19 2018

Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon and team owner Richard Childress.


The thrill of winning the 60th annual Daytona 500 Sunday night carried into Monday morning for Austin Dillon, who along with his team was honored during the Champion’s Breakfast in the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway.

Dillon drove the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 owned by grandfather Richard Childress to an historic victory in “The Great American Race,” the 2018 season-opening event for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Dillon’s victory came 20 years after seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt scored his lone win in “NASCAR’s Super Bowl” driving Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

“It’s an amazing win,” said Childress, car-owner for six of Earnhardt’s seven Cup titles. “It’s almost like a storybook chapter in our life.”

That chapter includes having the winning car on display for one year in DIS’ Ticket and Tours Building. The No. 3 was signed by Dillon, Childress, crew chief Justin Alexander and all members of the champion’s team to officially begin its “residence.”

“Truthfully, this all won’t sink in for a long time but seeing that race car, I want to go hug it,” Dillon said. “It’s a pretty race car.”

Monday morning also was a time for presentations from DIS President Chip Wile. Dillon received a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Watch and black leather Champion’s jacket, with jackets also given to Childress and Alexander. Childress also received his Harley J. Earl Champion Owner’s Trophy. Alexander was presented the Cannonball Baker Trophy named for NASCAR’s first commissioner and given annually to the champion’s crew chief.

Wile and Dillon also unveiled the new logo for the 2019 Daytona 500.

Sunday night after his victory, Dillon placed one foot and both hands in cement and signed his name on the square that will be added to the Daytona 500 Champion’s Walk of Fame outside the Ticket and Tours Building in July.

“I got 500 text messages last night,” Dillon said. “Haven’t looked through them all but I’m going to savor every moment of that.”

Dillon will be in New York City on Tuesday as part of an extensive Daytona 500 champion’s media tour. On the docket: Live with Kelly, First Things First on FS1, FOX Business, SiriusXM and a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, it will be back to racing. The Cup Series moves onto Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., this weekend.  “We’re still trying to win races,” Dillon said. “This is the beginning, I feel like.”

Meanwhile, FOX Sports reported that its live, four-plus-hour network broadcast scored an overnight rating of 5.1, down from 6.5 last year. According to Sports Media Watch, that’s the lowest overnight rating for the race in at least 10 years. Coverage of last Thursday’s Cam-Am Duels also was down, scoring a 1.1 rating on FOX Sports 1 compared to a 1.5 last year. Final ratings data will be available later this week.

| , RacinToday.com Monday, February 19 2018
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