How NASCAR Superstar Austin Dillon Gets His Head in the Right Place for the Daytona 500
Entrepreneur spoke with the speedster about big races and big business.
"I lose things pretty easily!"
No, NASCAR great Austin Dillon isn't talking about car races. He's talking about his wallet. "That's one of the cool things I like about the My GM Rewards Card," he says of his partnership with General Motors, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and Mastercard. "There's a digital version of it on my phone, and I always know where that is."
In the days leading up to the Daytona 500, which revs into action Sunday at 2:30 PM EST, Austin spoke with Entrepreneur about his partnership with the card, the overall awesomeness of competing in America's Race, and his prediction for who will take the checkered flag.
How did this partnership come together?
Anytime I can work with GM and Chevrolet on an awesome launch, it really goes hand in hand with what I love, and that's cars. I'm always purchasing stuff for my Chevrolets — oil changes, if my little guy messes up the carpet or something — so it's cool to have it right there on my phone and get 7X points for any of those purchases.
So you won the Daytona 500. How does it compare to be trying to win it for a second time versus going for that first victory?
Anytime you get an opportunity to race in the great American Race, it's special. And having won it, I know what that tastes like, and you definitely want to go back for seconds. As a racecar driver, you dream about things like this, having the opportunity to win, and when it happens, the feeling doesn't set in for quite some time. You feel like you're just living a dream.
The Daytona 500 involves driving at extremely high speeds for hours and hours. How do you stay focused?
It's just what I've done my entire life. You train your body and your mind to stay focused for every lap, every inch. Before a race, I pray with my wife to get in the right headspace. And then I'm in the race car, and I go get it.
When you are cruising around town, is it frustrating to have to drive at "normal people" speeds?
It's not very frustrating. The hardest part for me is I feel like I have PTSD from crashes in NASCAR. So when I get in that regular streetcar, I see people aren't paying attention. And I know that the impact that you can have in a streetcar is worse, I think, than in a NASCAR race. And I don't have my helmet on!
Any predictions for Sunday?
Tune in to watch, and you'll see!
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Formerly Enslaved Black Man Nearest Green Taught Jack Daniel Everything He Knew About Whiskey. Today, the Founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Celebrates His Legacy.
Leadership Lessons From the Exclusive Creativity School That 'Packs 5 Years Learning Into 5 Days'
3 Expert-Backed Strategies for Staying Calm in Times of Confrontation
The CEO of Wayfair Has Helped Revolutionize Digital Shopping for 20 Years. Here's How He Handles Rocky Economic Conditions.
This Founder Went to Prison When He Was 15 Years Old. That's Where He Came Up With the Idea for a Company Now Backed By John Legend.
3 Signs You're Letting Pride Get in the Way of Being Successful
Chip and Joanna Gaines and Shonda Rhimes Found Incredible Success By Using This One Entrepreneurial Strategy. Here's How You Can Too.