O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (November 1, 2017)

The following is an event recap with photo and video links from Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon’s unveiling of his 2018 Winter Olympics paint scheme on Wednesday at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

Event Recap

Austin Dillon, along with luge legend and Director of Marketing & Sponsorship for USA Luge Gordy Sheer and Dow Chemical Company Lead R&D Manager Sam Crabtree, took part in a “Speed of Science” panel discussion with college students on the campus at the University of North Texas. Sitting outside in the Library Mall with the Hurley Administration Building serving as the backdrop, the trio discussed how engineering and science plays a critical role in sports ranging from NASCAR to the Olympic Games. The audience of more than 75 college students ranged from the SAE University of North Texas Racing Team to those majoring in engineering, sports marketing and other related fields. Prior to the panel discussion, UNT President Neal Smatresk announced a partnership between the university and Texas Motor Speedway that is highlighted by college students having the opportunity for internships at the world-renowned motorsports facility. The event culminated with the unveiling of Dillon’s Winter Olympics paint scheme.

The Highlight

In celebration of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, being exactly 100 days from commencing on Wednesday, Dillon, Sheer, Crabtree and Smatresk unveiled the Olympics paint scheme that he will run in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 3 Dow Chevrolet is red, white and blue and features the American flag and Olympic rings on the hood and rear deck lid, and snowflakes on each side. Next to the car was a giant red, white and blue balloon display of “100” to signify 100 days out from the start of the Winter Olympics.

What They Are Saying

"For me, it’s this awesome partnership we have with Dow and Dow’s partnership with the Winter Olympics and then the luge team being here at the University of North Texas. Combining all of that together – it’s 100 days away from the Winter Olympics. It’s cool how we brought this partnership together and had an awesome day out here.” – Austin Dillon on Dow’s collaboration and research and development with Richard Childress Racing and the U.S. teams in the Winter Olympics.

“We are always looking for those young fans that are out here wanting to learn about our sport. To come to a campus like the University of North Texas and speak to them – let them see the race car and see what our sport is all about – and having fun. You can do that this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.” – Dillon on engaging with college students on campus at the University of North Texas.

“The race track is going to be better and better throughout the race weekend and it always does – the more rubber and rubber gets laid down the more lanes you see of racing. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got both races to run and learn as much as I can in. I’m sure by the end of the night Sunday it will be a wild race.  – Dillon on the second visit to the repaved and reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway heading into Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

For me to want to go faster in racing, it is going to take engineers that love race cars and racing and that want to take our sport to the next level. It’s always awesome – it’s almost like a recruiting trip when you come out here. You might see your next guys; you might see your next crew chief or engineers that will be working for you one day.– Dillon on the impact of engineers in NASCAR and college campuses could be educating the next wave in the sport.

It’s exciting to have University of North Texas, obviously a leader in education and getting young men and women ready for the workforce, involved with Texas Motor Speedway. This partnership is mutually beneficial and one that we believe has the ability to drive value from a lot of different perspectives. UNT has the opportunity to leverage signage and their preferred status with an extremely loyal motorsports fan base. For us, it’s all about tapping into a younger generation of fans as well as possible future employees. We have a large number of full and part-time staff members that went there so we obviously believe in the university. We are very proud to be aligned with a University that shares the same mission and values as we do and we can’t wait to get this partnership off the ground starting this November at the AAA Texas 500.” – Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on the new partnership with University of North Texas. 

“Through our partnership with Texas Motor Speedway, we’ll be able to offer our students educational opportunities such as internships, class projects and in-class lectures from the experienced Texas Motor Speedway staff. The partnership will directly benefit our students, specifically those studying sports management and marketing, hospitality and event management and business.” – University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk on the new partnership with Texas Motor Speedway.

“The inventions of tomorrow are not simple. They are going to require people from many different disciplines. What they saw today was a material lesson in how the jocks, nerds, geeks, computer scientists, mathematician, racecar driver and entertainer can all work together.” –Smatresk on the diverse group that connects in a sport such as NASCAR.

Fast Fact

Dillon will be performing double duty for Richard Childress Racing this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway with a start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in addition to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He will be racing the No. 2 Rheem/WATTS Chevrolet in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the No. 3 Winter in PyeongChang Chevrolet in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. Dillion has made 10 career XFINITY starts at Texas and has not finished worse than eighth, including a best of third twice. He has made nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas with a top finish of 11th coming in the 2015 AAA Texas 500.


In celebration of the new partnership between Texas Motor Speedway and the University of North Texas, Dillon surprised all the students that took part in the panel discussion by letting them know that two AAA Texas 500 tickets were taped beneath each chair to watch him in action on Sunday. Dillon also presented Smatresk with a Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Dow racing team crew shirt. … Dillon is the defending AAA Texas 500 polesitter, having won the top qualifying spot with a speed of 192.301 miles per hour last November. It was his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole and remains his most recent.

Upcoming Event At A Glance

AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Playoff Tripleheader

Thursday - NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 1st Practice (2 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.); NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Final Practice (4 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.).

Friday - Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1st Practice (12 p.m. - 1:25 p.m.); NASCAR XFINITY Series 1st Practice (2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.); NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas Lottery Salute to Veterans Qualifying Days (3 p.m.); NASCAR XFINITY Series Final Practice (4 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.); Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Texas Lottery Salute to Veterans Qualifying Days (5:15 p.m.); JAG Metals 350 Driving Hurricane Relief NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 6 Playoff Race (7 p.m., TV: FS1 / Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90, 95.9 The Ranch)

Saturday - Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2nd Practice (2 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.); Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Final Practice (4 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.); NASCAR XFINITY Series Texas Lottery Salute to Veterans Qualifying Days (5:05 p.m.); O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series Round of 8 Playoff Race (7:30 p.m., TV: NBCSN / Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90, 95.9 The Ranch)

Sunday - AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 Playoff Race (1 p.m., TV: NBCSN / Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90, 95.9 The Ranch)

Tickets are available by contacting the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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