CHICAGO — On the eve of his first Chase for the Sprint Cup, Austin Dillon joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss the anticipation and expectations for his playoff debut.
The Richard Childress Driver earned a berth on points, entering the Chase as one of three winless drivers.
“I’ve slept well all week long looking forward to these moments the next three weeks,” he said Thursday during the Chase for the Sprint Cup Media Day. “I told myself I’m going to look at it as go have fun and try to play loose.
“When you play loose and free, good things can happen. I think that speed can really come to you if you’re not stressed about what’s going on around you. I’m excited about this opportunity. I think we’re going to surprise people.”
Entering the playoffs with a relaxed attitude will be a marked change from recent weeks for Dillon, who said he struggled with sleeping heading into the final two races of the regular season at Darlington and Richmond.
“Things stated getting nerve-wracking,” he said. “You’re trying to cover everything in your head, how you’d react to certain situations. And it just keeps you up all night.”
During the podcast episode, Dillon also discussed:
–His team’s recent pit crew changes, and the impact he had in making them;
–How he and teammate Paul Menard patched up things after a difficult night at Richmond;
–Throwing out the first pitch at a White Sox game Wednesday;
–Securing the perfect engagement photo.
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