Austin Dillon Instrumental In Bringing Kyle Busch To Richard Childress Racing

Dillon didn't waste much time courting Busch

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September 14

Austin Dillon got the wheels going early on trying to get Kyle Busch to join him at Richard Childress Racing.

Once an opening on the team became available when Tyler Riddick announced in July that he would be departing at season’s end, Dillon knew he wanted Busch to fill the void. So, he went to work convincing those around him to add Busch to RCR.

“I mentioned it to Torrey (Galida, RCR president) that day and he said, ‘You should talk to your grandfather about it,'” Dillon said Tuesday, per Racer’s Kelly Crandall. “I talked to him about it, and he was open to it. I think he was more like, ‘Yeah, do you think he’d want to come?’ because of the past. I was like, ‘Kyle’s a man, just like you are. Forgive and forget and move on.'”

Busch officially signed with RCR on Tuesday, ending a 15-year tenure with Joe Gibbs Racing. Dillon also reached out to the brash Busch, who had a physical altercation with owner Richard Childress following a race in 2011, prior to RCR bringing him on board, and Dillon noted that Busch shared a similar sentiment to Childress.

“He was kind of in the same boat of, ‘RC wants me?'” Dillon said, per Crandall. “I was like, ‘Yeah, man, why wouldn’t he?’ Two-time champion. Great winner in this sport. I just told him we wanted him and that’s where it started. After that, it was more about getting Torrey and Mike (Dillon) hooked up and Kyle having a meeting with RC, and that’s the direction we were able to push this whole thing. I’m super excited to have a two-time champion at RCR.”

On the other end of things, Busch, who will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet next season, was caught off guard at first when Dillon contacted him.

?I was kind of surprised, honestly,” Busch said, according to Crandall. “Richard and I, we had spoken in years past just in passing, but when Austin reached out, I was like, ‘OK, we probably need to sit down and discuss something first.’ It was fine. It was easy. It wasn’t that big of a deal when we did.

“Just to feel wanted and to feel that they know who I am, what I am. The accolades speak for (themselves) and that I can go over there and I can help continue that build to the top, and what I feel like they’re already on a good path of.”

For Dillon, he was just happy in having a hand in getting Busch to RCR.

“I was excited about it and had to keep it down,” Dillon said to Crandall. “When it all came together, (Tuesday) is special. To be a part of it, to help that conversation get going. … If I can have a little piece to bring a guy like him to RCR to keep us on the trajectory that we’re going, it’s special.”

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