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Feb 19, 2014 - 06:10 AM
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2014 Daytona 500: Austin Dillon NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 19, 2014 - 06:07 AM
2014 Daytona 500: Austin Dillon NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

Race Notes and Quotes
This Week's Dow Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 440 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is the same Chevrolet SS that Dillon utilized during January testing, where he topped the speed charts.


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Dillon at Daytona ... Dillon made his first start in the Great American Race in last year's Daytona 500 driving the No. 33 Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet to a 31st-place finish, after he was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 137 of 200. In four Nationwide Series starts at the 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track, the Welcome, N.C., driver has three top-five finishes, with a best finish of fourth in July 2012. He also has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Daytona.

Pole Sitter ... Dillon will lead the 43-car starting field to the green flag on Sunday afternoon after earning his career-first Sprint Cup Series pole award with a lap of 196.019 mph (45.914 seconds). It marks the fourth time the No. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500, and its 67th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, overall.

Welcome, Dow ...Dillon's rookie year in the Sprint Cup is also Dow's first year as a primary sponsor with RCR and the No. 3 Chevrolet. Together, both teams embrace the power of safety, science and technology as RCR tests Dow products under the most strenuous conditions. Dow also drives innovation to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, bringing a broad range of sustainable products and solutions to customers in nearly 180 countries. www.dow.com

#CheerThe3 ... Beginning this week, limited edition Cheerios boxes to commemorate the return of the No. 3 to NASCAR's premier series with NASCAR champion Austin Dillon will be available to shoppers exclusively at The Kroger Co. Family of Stores nationwide. The collectible Cheerios box, which required rare brand approval to replace the traditional red heart with the iconic No. 3, also features historic photos and facts about the legendary number. Fans can interact and receive unique content about Austin Dillon and the No. 3 race team throughout the 2014 season by visiting the "Cheer the 3" social media communities on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Cheerthe3 ) and Twitter @Cheerthe3.

Time to Duel ... The Duel at Daytona features two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. By virtue of qualifying first in last Sunday's qualifying session, Dillon will be on the pole in the first of the two qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 20.

What does it mean to you to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500 driving the No. 3 car?
"It's amazing. Dow has had a good start. They actually just got the first Olympic medal for us in the luge, in the women's luge for a bronze, and now they got the pole at the Daytona 500. It shows that the technology that that group is able to bring, not only as a partner with us, but as a performance partner. So, it's pretty cool to see what they've been able to do. As far as starting the year off with a pole right here, it brings some momentum into our season already to show that RCR cars have speed, and I'm so happy to be working with Gil Martin and all of our guys. I sat down at the test at Nashville Superspeedway we had, and it was fun just to sit back and watch them work. They're so experienced and good at what they do. I know I'm the young guy out of the group, the rookie of the group, and I really think I'm going to learn a lot this year from these guys."

How much responsibility is it to drive the No. 3 car?
"I think it is a huge responsibility. Everybody knows who made this number famous, and with my grandfather and his friendship they were able to build something great that will never be touched. But, we feel like with bringing it back as my grandfather's grandson and working with RCR it's going to be special. And I feel like we've put in a lot of hard work and effort at the shop and we're prepared for everything that's to come. I'm just so thankful that we were able to work with great sponsors like Dow and Cheerios to make this happen. It takes a lot of things to come into place to get this opportunity and it's a dream come true to be in the situation that I'm in. I'm going to take it every day and I feel fortunate to be in this situation. I want to go out there and run well, and go out each time try and set goals to be able to crush. We want to go out there and set high goals and maintain those. I feel like if we do that, it makes everything that much sweeter."

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