Four of the most talented Nationwide drivers will compete in the Dash 4 Cash sweepstakes, beginning this weekend
And that’s just fine with Austin Dillon.
“Who doesn’t,” the Richard Childress Racing driver said when asked if he enjoyed “blowing things up.”
“We used to have Roman candle fights,” he said of he and younger brother, Ty. “That was probably my favorite thing to do, actually. Me and my brother and some of our friends would get Roman candles, put paint ball masks on and shoot Roman candles at each other.”
The on-track fireworks might not be as much fun, but in the end will be a lot more profitable for one of the four qualified drivers.
"Who doesn't (enjoy) blowing things up?"
-- Austin Dillon
By finishing highest among the NNS eligible drivers in last week’s race at Kentucky, Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson will now compete for a $100,000 bonus from series sponsor Nationwide at DIS.
One of the four will earn the bonus, and become eligible for the second Dash event, scheduled for July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Dillon, Sadler and Vickers were on hand at DIS Wednesday to help promote the Nationwide program. In between brief rain showers, the group painted their car numbers on the infield grass and helped launch fireworks on the backstretch.
Larson was unable to attend due to a prior commitment.
Sadler, a former Dash 4 Cash race winner, and Vickers both compete for Joe Gibbs Racing, and there have already been discussions, Sadler said, about how the race could play out.
“Brian and I are teammates, so we’ll be working together all night anyway,” Sadler said. “So we’ll see how that plays out as we get toward the end of the race.”
That includes, he said, possibly pushing a teammate to the win, or the best possible finish, if the opportunity arises.
“If I’m running fifth and Brian is running fourth and he’s in a position to win the Dash 4 Cash … if I pull out and try to pass him and I know I’m going to drag 15 other guys with me, I don’t know if I want to do that or not,” Sadler said.
“Is it worth putting me and him at risk where we get in a wreck and neither one of us win it? And we lose points as far as the championship’s concerned?
“Our main goal is one of us winning the race. If not, getting the most points we possibly can for both of our race teams because we’re trying to run for the championship, then the Dash 4 Cash. We’ll see how it all plays out.”
Dillon said the unpredictability of racing at Daytona makes it difficult to form predetermined alliances.
“I could be teamed up with Brian or Elliott just to try to stay out of the mess at the end of the race if one of them loses the other one,’ he said.
“You change partners so many times in this race; you never know who you’re going to be linked up with.
“I’ve got my brother in the race, got some other teammates also. They’re not in the Dash 4 Cash so hopefully we can maybe work a side deal out or something where if we get to the end, we can make it happen.”