Austin Dillon is an American professional race car driver who drives the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. He was born in raised in the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina, which is where he still lives today. His NASCAR career keeps him pretty busy as he travels with his race team throughout the country during their 36-race season.
A few years ago, Austin stopped by Lucchese Dallas to be fitted for an exotic pair of Lucchese boots. He said, “Cowboy boots have been a part of my life always. I have pictures of my brother and me as just little toddlers wearing cowboy boots and cowboy hats at my grandfather’s place in Montana. It’s just something that’s always been part of our lives.”
You’re from a family of racers, and the grandson of a NASCAR legend. Has racing always been your career goal?
Racing has always been in my blood. It’s our family business and it’s usually the topic of conversation around the dinner table. It wasn’t until I was older that I became interested in becoming a driver myself, though. I grew up playing stick-and-ball sports and played in the Little League World Series in 2002. I thought I would become a baseball player. However, I tried testing a bandolero car at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and I was hooked! I credit playing team sports with a lot of the successes I’ve had in NASCAR.
Tell us about the life as a NASCAR driver. How long have you raced for?
I started racing when I was 15 years old, which is actually a pretty late start for most professional drivers. I started my career in Bandolero cars, then progressed to Legend Cars, Dirt Late Models, and then stock cars. I won championships in the NASCAR Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series before progressing to the NASCAR Cup Series, which is every racer’s dream. Now, my goal is to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship and become the first driver to win a championship in all three of NASCAR’s national series.
Who’s the better overall driver – you or your brother?
Well, I have to choose myself!
What do you like to do away from the track?
Away from the track, I love to spend time with my family and friends, and stay active in the outdoors. I love hunting season! I’m a new father so a lot of my time is spent with my son, Ace, and wife, Whitney.
Are you a fan of other sports? Which ones?
I love all sports. Football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis – pretty much anything that allows people to be competitive!
You have some exotic Lucchese boots in your collection. What is your favorite skin and why?
I have a pair of elephant skins. Those are currently my favorite – they are just so special to me.
Is there an exotic boot that you don’t have now but plan to have in the future?
That’s a good question. I have quite the collection of Lucchese boots, and plan to continue to add to my collection. I think the most special boots are the boots that have personal meaning to me. ... The boots gifted to me from family members or purchased to celebrate a special occasion. I would love to celebrate my next racing victory with a new pair of exotic Lucchese boots!
If you were a Lucchese boot designer, what does your favorite pair look like?
I would design a pair with inspiration from my son, Ace. He’s my Ace of Spades so I would have that logo on the boots somewhere. They would be made to look really timeless but also trendy at the same time.
How has fatherhood already changed you?
Fatherhood has been great! It’s such a rewarding experience. I think it changes your perspective on a lot of things. I would do anything for my son.
What are some life lessons you want to pass on to your son Ace?
I can’t wait to go to the racetrack with Ace, and let him experience growing up at the track like I did. I want to teach him to hunt, and fish and enjoy the great outdoors. But most importantly, I want Ace to be a good human.