Richard Childress Racing’s New Era Starts on the Podium

Austin Dillon


Austin Dillon (left) & Kyle Busch (right) take part in driver introductions at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum came to a close with Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon celebrating on the podium. This was a strong debut for the new lineup, and it showcased the teamwork in place.

Busch and Dillon met with media members after they finished on the podium alongside Martin Truex Jr. They explained that they had good cars on the purpose-built short track, but teamwork played a bigger role in their success in a chaos-filled race.

“Having good stuff obviously helps,” Busch explained. “Last year being in the JGR stuff we were really fast. Our teammates were terrible this year; now our teammates are good — or the JGR cars were good and we got beat by one of them, but Austin and I worked hard together today on, A, working together, but, B, all the information to put ourselves in the best possible spot. Good collaboration between the RCR bunch.”

Busch Made a Key Move Late in the Race

Busch Light Clash

GettyThe top 3 drivers at the Busch Light Clash celebrate with their medals.

Part of being a good teammate is sharing knowledge about the track, the car setup, or the opponent. Another part is embracing the opportunity to help your teammate out on the track.

Busch did just that late in the race. He was running second behind Truex while Dillon was third overall. However, the driver of the No. 8 moved to the side and let his teammate pass him after recognizing that his car just wasn’t as good.

Dillon wasn’t able to ultimately chase down Truex due to the number of laps remaining in the race, but he was in a prime position to contend for a win if there were any late cautions that forced the field to line up once again.

“Yeah, I’ll just echo what Kyle said. It was really fun,” Dillon added. “Our car was really good. It really kind of turned on that last practice. We figured out that our car was pretty good on the long run. We were able to qualify decent, which is good for us. Not a great qualifier usually at the short tracks.

“Felt like if we could just maintain we could have a shot. Kyle helped me there at the end. He knew we had a fast car, so let me try and got a shot at Martin. That was nice, so hopefully, I can pay back the favor when we go to Daytona and work together well. It’s a great start for all of us.”

The Respect Actually Extended to Another Organization

Busch and Dillon put their mutual respect on display while working together in pursuit of strong finishes. They also prompted comments from another driver, one who specifically mentioned their role in preventing chaos.

“I had some good guys around me,” Truex explained during his media session. “Austin and Kyle raced clean, and for the most part, I’ve never had really any big issues with those guys.

“You come to a track like this, it’s pretty easy to just blow the corner and knock the guy out of the way in front of you. It’s just easy to do. Thankfully they didn’t do that. They gave me a lap to get going, and obviously, we were fast enough to drive away from them.”

There were several drivers that made comments about the lack of respect during the Busch Light Clash, something that led to 16 cautions. Dillon, in particular, confirmed during the media session that the field was so even that the only way to make a pass was to move someone out of the way.

However, the three podium finishers avoided making these moves while battling each other for medals. This resulted in them viewing the weekend as a success instead of leaving California frustrated.

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