'Sunday Drive' on the Speedway
Motors running, tires squealing and ... guitar strings
It's just another day at the speedway.
"There can't be much more proof that North Wilkesboro Speedway is open for business," Speedway Association president Alton McBride Jr. said Tuesday.
Tuesday marked the second music video shot at the historic speedway and the return of the No. 3.
Three, that is, for the grandson of Richard Childress, Austin Dillon of the Camping World Truck Series. The Intimidator himself (Dale Earnhardt Sr., the most famous No. 3 driver) isn't far from Dillon's mind as he circles the track.
"I feel privileged to run it," he said.
Dillon, whose speeding black Chevrolet Silverado truck provided a backdrop for Tim Dugger's music video Tuesday, feels close to the Earnhardt legacy. After all, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Earnhardt won point championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994, solidifying Earnhardt's Intimidator reputation and his place in NASCAR history. A lot of the drama happened right here at North Wilkesboro Speedway. It's not lost on Dillon.
"This track has real history for us," he said.
Dillon, who has been driving since he was 15, remembers watching his father, former Nationwide Series driver Mike Dillon, whiz around this very track.
A few weeks ago, Dillon came to test his own equipment. That's when the nostalgia first sank in.
"It was really cool just to come back and check everything out," he said, motioning to the faded stand logos.
The music video gave him an opportunity not only to hit the track again, but also to help out Tim Dugger, an up-and-comer in the country music scene who Dillon calls "great."
"It's a good song, he's a great singer," Dillon said.
The song, "Sunday Drive," is about NASCAR, with lyrics like, "Yeah, I'm full of NASCAR pride."
Dugger, who's a big RCR fan, felt like a tourist himself at the historic track.
"It's got an old school look to it; it's a piece of history," he said, "Where I'm from (Roanoke, Ala.), everyone likes NASCAR."
And that's exactly why he wrote the song. It's about how "some women are like, 'I don't know'" when it comes to NASCAR, until they experience the thrill of a race.
Influenced by greats like Merle Haggard (who he met when he was 17), Dugger always knew he wanted to be a musician.
"It's all I'm good at," he joked.
Touring up and down the southeast takes its toll on some artists, but not Dugger. "I'm single and young, and it's what I like doing," he said.
McBride hopes there will be more artists like Dugger who look at the speedway as an opportunity.
"It's the perfect place to do your filming ... we're a one-stop-shop," he said of the 90-acre facility, "we're not just about racing."
Director Brett Bortle wouldn't have filmed anywhere else.
"It's North Wilkesboro, probably one of the most famous tracks on the circuit ... and if you look around, it's picture perfect," he said.
Dugger's video comes months after Matt Dylan shot "Carolina Moonshine" at the track.
For more information on Austin Dillon and his career, visit http://www.teamdillonracing.com. For more information on Tim Dugger, visit http://www.timdugger.com and check out his latest CD, Gettin' There. For a history of the North Wilkesboro Speedway, visit http://www.savethespeedway.net.