Ty Dillon, NASCAR Driver and Hunter
Ty Dillon has spent a great majority of his life hanging around the track with his grandfather, Richard Childress. This year is his first full year in NASCAR Cup driving full time. Ty’s been passionate about hunting since he was a young man hunting with his grandfather and his brother Austin. We are excited that he took a few minutes to answer our questions and we wish him well on the track and in the field.
Ty, How were you introduced to hunting?
My grandfather introduced me to hunting when I was eight years old. We went hunted deer in Iowa where one of his friends owned some land. I had fun but being only eight, I was probably a little bit scared. We went again two years later, this time down to Texas. That was the trip that really did it for me, I got hunting fever and from then on, I’ve been traveling all over to hunt with my grandfather and my brother, Austin.
What one hunting skill that you most want to improve?
The biggest thing I need to work on is my skill with the bow.
What conservation organizations do you support with your time and money?
I support the Congressional Sportsman Foundation, NRA and the National Wild Turkey Federation. I’ve gone out hunting a few times with the folks from the NTWF and that’s been a lot of fun.
In all of the years of hunting what is the most important lesson you have learned from the outdoors?
There’s not one major lesson that comes to mind from my time in the outdoors. For me, it’s just a long list of little things that I’ve learned, not only about myself, but about the country, too. I always seem to learn something small whether I’m out hunting, fishing, mountain biking or hiking. You can test your limits whether you’re out there camping or hiking and see how much you can handle. I really like that part of it.
We have had the opportunity to interview your grandfather who is one of our conservation heroes, how has he influenced you in the world of hunting?
He’s taught me everything that I know about the outdoors. He was the first one to take me hunting and showed me how to hunt safely. He taught me how to shoot a gun. He sparked my passion for hunting with all of the trips we took. He also taught me about conservation as I got older and could understand more.
This is your first full year of driving in the premier Cup series with the Germain Racing No. 13. What is the most exciting thing about having this full-time ride in cup racing?
I’ve been around racing my whole life so making it to Cup was always my goal. It’s what I wanted to do since I first got into a car. I’ve made a handful of Cup starts the last few years, but it’s special to finally have the opportunity earn championship points every weekend and compete for Rookie of the Year. It’s really cool to be on track with the best racers in the country week in and week out.
What is the one track this year that you are most excited to race?
I’m probably most excited to go to Sonoma, which is in northern California. I’ve never been there before, and it’s in a really neat part of the country with a lot to do.
I have seen quite a few clips where you are very competitive with your brother Austin. Does that translate into hunting as well?
It translates to just about everything we do! We both want to shoot the biggest deer, turkey or whatever animal we’re after that day. We’re always competing – on the track, hunting, fantasy football, anything you can think of.
Racing keeps you and your family incredibly busy, how do you find time to go hunting?
It’s definitely been harder with how hectic my schedule has been lately, but I always try to make time once or twice a year to go on a good hunting trip. We’ve been out locally in North Carolina and other places like Missouri and Montana, to name a couple.
We saw quite a few photos of your wife Hailey’s cakes. Is she excited when you bring home wild game to cook?
She likes to challenge herself with cooking different types of food. She’s tried cooking wild game before and she’s not too crazy about it. She’s a great sport though and is definitely up for trying new things in the kitchen.
We see a tremendous number of women being motivated to get outdoors and into hunting. Is your wife joining you in the field on some of your hunts?
Haley hasn’t been out hunting with me yet, but I think she wants to. We just haven’t really had time to go out and teach her too much about the outdoors. She’s been fishing with me before and that’s been fun to experience with her.