Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Austin Dillon on last weekend's Martinsville incident: 'I forgive Kevin'


   During his weekly SiriusXM Radio call in on "Tradin' Paint" on Wednesday afternoon, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon was asked by Jim Noble and Chocolate Myers his opinion of the Ty Dillon/Kevin Harvick Martinsville Speedway incident from last weekend. 
   Here is a complete transcript of his response:

   “For me, I come from a fortunate situation growing up in a family that is in racing. My grandfather has given my brother and I both a great opportunity to go out and take advantage of those opportunities. If anybody out there doesn’t think that I should go after something that is in front of me, I don’t know what to say. I feel like this opportunity has been put in front of me and I am very blessed. I want to go out there and prove myself. I’ve given it everything I’ve had from the very beginning- from dirt racing, bandoleros to legend cars, knowing the whole time that if you don’t have a sponsor you can’t get to the race track the next week and that’s something my grandfather has taught me each and every week. Kevin Harvick is somebody in my family that is a hero. He was a hero and probably still will be. During a tough time when RCR needed someone to step up, Kevin Harvick did. He kept RCR up front in NASCAR for a long time. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, both good and bad. He’s a great race car driver. No one can not say that he’s a great race car driver. He’s done a lot to teach me about different tracks that we’ve gone to. It definitely hurts to hear those things from him. I watched the race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway and I thought it was hard racing. I thought Ty had a good truck and I thought Harvick had a good truck. They got after it at a place like Martinsville and Ty was racing for points and thought like he needed to get to the next spot. Things are said in the heat of battle. I’ve learned that it’s better to forgive someone for what they’ve said. I’ve forgiven him already. It’s just tough. Going into this year I was thinking that Kevin Harvick was going to be a teammate of mine going into next year and that I was going to be able to learn from him. I wanted us to be able to work together so that we could win championships together at RCR. When we found out he was going to Stewart-Hass Racing, it hurt my feelings. I still knew, though, that we could do it at RCR. We’ve always been able to overcome things. I was going to go into this year, and still am, trying to learn as much as I could from him. I did and still thank him for everything he’s taught me and where I’m at today. My grandfather is the same way. He’s taught me a lot about the way to act and respect people. I forgive Kevin. It definitely hurts to hear some of those things that were said, but at the same time I wouldn’t have ever thought that those things would come out of his mouth because I’ve known him for a long time, played basketball with him, been over to his shop. I played basketball with him for 11 or 12 weeks and really got to know him. It sucks. It’s part of it. I feel like RCR has given Kevin Harvick everything they could to win a championship as far a team, as far as guys, the best pit crew we can put together. When he leaves he will know that we have given him every opportunity that we could as a company and as a family here at RCR to win. That’s all you can ask for as a driver. If he goes to Stewart-Hass Racing and finds what he needs I’ll be happy for him and we’ll move on. I think the biggest thing is to forgive him, move on and learn from it. I’m going on to the next week and trying to win this week at Texas and trying to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship. I’m looking forward to the great things we have going on at RCR. We have a lot of positive things going on here. Right now I’m just happy as a person for everything that RCR has been able to give me and looking forward to trying to kick butt for years to come over here.”
   For a refresher on what happened at Martinsville, go here.

Statement from Christmas Abbott on her departure from MWR

   Christmas Abbott, who in February became the first woman hired by a Sprint Cup Series team as a full-time pit crew member, posted the following statement on her Facebook page on Wednesday. 

   The Observer reported Tuesday night Abbott had left the Michael Waltrip Racing organization and had yet to work during a race this season.

   "To all my fans ... Yes, I did leave MWR to attend to some personal items. While working through these items I kept the intent of returning to racing either with MWR or another team I could start the season with as a tire changer.

   "I am thankful for the time I had with MWR on the pit crew and the great development I had. I will say with conviction that this endeavor was never a publicity stunt for myself or MWR. I am a professional athlete that found pit crewing via the sport of CrossFit. I pursued this because of the challenge it brought and my intrigue to the sport collectively. 

   "Thank you all who have supported this and I continue to advocate women in the sport of NASCAR specifically as a tire changer. Love it or hate it but I will continue to live my life disregarding any limits others put on me and continue to push myself to the highest of my own potential."