While the weather at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday morning was cloudy, Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon was definitely under the weather.
Apparently having flu-like symptoms, Dillon took to the track for 28 practice laps – recording a best of just 186.220 mph (at 28.998 seconds), far off the pace of the fastest of the pack – and brought the car back into the garage.
But Dillon would get a second burst of energy late in the session, climbing back into his No. 3 Richard Childress Chevrolet and pumped out a much more respectable effort of 192.623 mph, good for 23rd on the speed charts.
Younger brother Ty watched Austin’s early practice runs from atop the team’s hauler and then climbed into his brother’s car, prepared to take some practice laps of his own.
Ty went out and ran just four laps, with a top lap of 30.810 seconds, which was under 180 mph.
“It’s loose on exit, but that’s about the only thing I see there,” Ty Dillon said to crew chief Gil Martin over the team radio after his four-lap turn. “It’s kind of a hard thing to do there (to shake down his brother’s car).”
Martin understood how difficult it was for the younger Dillon brother to be thrown into such an impromptu situation.
“Yeah, really, it is, but you did fine, thank you,” Martin told Ty Dillon.
Martin feels Austin Dillon will be able to race Sunday unless he has a relapse.
Currently in third place in his first season on the Nationwide Series circuit, Ty Dillon will be standing by if Austin is not able to qualify the car later Saturday afternoon.
If Ty is forced to qualify the car, Austin would have to start Sunday’s race at the back of pack.
And if Ty starts the race, Austin would not get any Sprint Cup points, which would hurt – especially since Austin is currently ninth in the standings heading into Sunday’s race, 48 points behind series leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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