Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, will attempt to make his Daytona 500 debut in an RCR car in February—40 years after Childress failed to qualify for the event in his first try at Daytona.
Dillon isn't taking anything for granted.
"With the family history, and then going to Daytona. ... I've been able to be in Victory Lane with Kevin Harvick (2007) and Dale Earnhardt (1998) when they won the 500," said Dillon, who will attempt to qualify RCR's No. 33 Chevrolet during Feb. 17 time trials at the 2.5-mile track.
"I really remember Harvick's, because I was able to experience everything the next day also. I'm looking forward to it. We're not in it yet. We've still got to qualify, so we've got some work cut out for us. But, once we get in, it's going to be pretty emotional and fun."
It will also be emotional for Dillon's father, RCR's vice president of competition and himself a former Nationwide Series driver. The elder Dillon is careful not to set expectations too high.
"The biggest thing right now when you watch your kids is you just want them to hit the ball," Mike Dillon said. "Make contact. If they foul it, it's 'OK, you made contact. Next time we'll get it in play.' This deal of making the Daytona 500 is a big deal.
"If we can go out and just get in the race and run a good, solid race and come out of there respectable ... Getting in the race and taking the green flag, after that it's just ‘Bring it home safe.'"