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November 21, 2015

Austin Dillon

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Up next, we're going to see our race runner‑up and he knows what it's like to be a champion in this series, as well, and that is Austin Dillon. He's the driver of the No.33 Rheem Chevrolet for Richard Childress Motorsports.
You gave it a great effort here today, kissed the wall there at the end and probably allowed that 42 car to get past you a little bit. Talk about your race a little bit this afternoon.
AUSTIN DILLON: It was fun. We had a car that could take off really well for about 15 laps, and I thought 15 laps was what we had there at the end, and it was about three or four more than we needed. Kyle was the class of the field, obviously. He's got that wall figured out where he can run up there. He didn't even scratch his car I don't think. I tried it up there. I flat‑sided and my car got better when I hit the wall. Running the lane off the wall was pretty good and I could take off, like I said. But I knew he was coming and had to try and take his line away, and I think he was coming either way.
But it was fun. I was glad I blistered him on the restarts. That was fun. But wow, he was really fast. I walked up to him in victory lane, and I said, "Teach me how to get around the top." Obviously I need to change my line around, so maybe I can talk to him and figure something out. He's very good at finding that edge up there.
We'll learn, work on it tomorrow, and I think you're going to see a lot of battles like that for years to come between me and Kyle, and it's going to be fun.

Q. Austin, I know that you just talked about that battle with Kyle there in the last couple laps. Can you talk about how much progress this team has made this season? I know with the crew chief change and everything, just to get to the point where this team is and just all the wins that you had this season?
AUSTIN DILLON: We've had a really solid year in the XFINITY Series. The 33 team, at the beginning of the year I thought we'd have a great shot at the Owner's Championship, as fast as we were, and really we blew up a motor at California and that kind of put us behind. We finished 43rd there and a few other misfortunate events happened. But I am looking forward to next year, for going for an Owner's Championship. I think we've got a good lineup for next year, and what our plans are.
We'll be fighting for it for sure, and proud of my team, like you said. We had a switch during the middle of the year and I think it benefitted the 3 team and the 33 team. Nick and Danny were both receptive to it. That's what made it work. I think we've got some really positive stuff going on for next year.

Q. Austin, you said before the race that you had found something at the end of Sprint Cup practice and was going to try an XFINITY race and hopefully master it for the Cup race tomorrow. You got pretty close. How do you feel about tomorrow?
AUSTIN DILLON: I didn't master it the way I thought I'd master it. I thought I'd figure it out like the 42. He's obviously got another‑‑ he flips another switch, so I've got to figure out what I've got to do as a driver. I think he enters just a little bit higher, like a tire width higher on entry, and it kind of carries him around the corner better or what. I just need to look at every type of driving ability because he's got the driving style figured out, and then once you get the driving style figured out, you know how to set up the car. When you're in no‑man's land, if you don't know how the driving style is and then you don't know how to set up your car that's what struggles.
I think I have a direction and we'll work toward that with Slugger and the guys, the Dow team is starting 10th tomorrow. It'll be a long race and you'll see a lot of right sides flatted like Darlington.

Q. Can you just talk about the intensity of using that outside lane? It's a lot like Darlington, but the differences between using the inside and right up along the wall?
AUSTIN DILLON: It's intense. I knew what I had to do there with whatever, five to go and he was only a car length back. I knew I had to try it. I hadn't been very good at it the whole race, and my line wasn't going to get it done. Threw caution to the wind, released the brake pedal, hit the wall, he passed me, and that's the end of the race.

Q. Austin, as a former series champion, what, if anything, stands out to you about Chris and what he's accomplished this year?
AUSTIN DILLON: Chris is a smart race car driver. I think that's what won him a championship. I said it‑‑ I noticed it earlier on in the year. I've noted it from when he was driving ARCA against Ty. Him and Ty had good battles then, and Chris is always smart with his equipment. I think he knows the ability of the equipment, uses it to its ability every time, and finishes races well. So I think Chris is going to be good. He's smart. He don't tear up stuff.
Like I said, he knows‑‑ he's raced with less before, and it teaches you what you have in the car, so I think he's very good at managing his equipment and getting the best out of it.

Q. I understand everybody's situation is always a little different, but when you win a championship in this series, what are the expectations? What are the personal challenges? How do people look upon you, and how do you have to deal with that and address the changes with having champion associated with you moving forward from something like this, that you had to do, that Chris will have to do now?
AUSTIN DILLON: Yeah, and Chase, also. I think expectations are you've proven something. Obviously you've got something you can always go back on, and then moving forward, what are you going to do at the next level I think is the next big thing; how do you accomplish more every time. I think it's like I won my truck championship, you don't even think about it because the next thing is XFINITY. I won an XFINITY championship, you don't breathe about it, either, you go into Cup. You can't ever be satisfied because you don't know when the last day you're in a race car is, and that moment when you win a Cup championship, that's kind of like the last mountain, the last peak you've got to get to.
It's all about the fight to the top.
THE MODERATOR: Austin Dillon, thank you for coming in here today. Had a heck of a race. Good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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