Austin Dil­lon

OF ‘STP 500’ ON FOX SPORTS 1

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY GEORGE DICKIE

When you were 12, you com­peted in the Lit­tle League World Se­ries. That had to have been quite a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for some­one so young, no?

It was spe­cial. I’m still bud­dies with some of the guys on the team. My short­stop and I hung out this off­sea­son a lit­tle bit and yeah, we’ve got a great squad and I had a lot of fun learn­ing team sports at a young age there . ... It was cool for our fam­ily, a dif­fer­ent sport other than rac­ing that we were on TV for. So I had a blast do­ing it and we were coached well and, like I said, it was cool to play a team sport and learn­ing what it takes to win to­gether as a group.

And it prob­a­bly taught you a lot about han­dling pres­sure.

I’d say so. I’ve been in pres­sure sit­u­a­tions a lot dur­ing my life. My grand­fa­ther (Chil­dress Rac­ing owner Richard Chil­dress) has al­ways put it on us and I think that’s why we were pre­pared when we got to the Cup Se­ries and Xfin­ity Se­ries be­cause we’d been in pres­sure sit­u­a­tions and other things in life, whether it’d be hunt­ing, base­ball, bas­ket­ball, any kind of sport.

What are you proud­est of in your ca­reer?

I think (win­ning) the Day­tona 500 ... you can’t beat that. I mean, that’s pretty awe­some. I’d love to go win a Cup cham­pi­onship. My other cham­pi­onships mean a ton to me, also; they’re right up there with that Day­tona 500, be­cause that’s be­ing the best over a sea­son-long pe­riod of time. I think that’s awe­some be­ing No. 1. That and mar­ry­ing my wife.

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