The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action on Sunday, Aug. 8, for a race at Watkins Glen International in New York. Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon will have a new partner for the trip as sponsor The Cowboy Channel takes over the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro.
RCR announced on Thursday, Aug. 5, the partnership with The Cowboy Channel, “the first 24-hour television network totally dedicated to western sports and the western lifestyle.” The racing organization also released the first look at the stock car, which will feature a red and black scheme and John Wayne next to the door numbers.
According to the press release, The Cowboy Channel provides content focused on ProRodeo, bull riding, roping, and barrel racing among other western sports. The channel also includes “western fashion,” music, and coverage of events such as the National Finals Rodeo.
“I grew up watching old Western movies, spending Christmas at my grandfather’s place in Montana, and overall embracing the western lifestyle so it’s really special to be able to unite two important interests of mine by featuring The Cowboy Channel on the No. 3 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International,” Dillon said in the press release. “We even have John Wayne riding along with me this weekend on the car – one of my heroes. I hope that the race allows NASCAR fans to learn about The Cowboy Channel and subscribe to The Cowboy Channel + if they aren’t already.”
The Cup Series Race Will Directly Impact Dillon’s Playoff Chances
Four races remain in the regular season — Watkins Glen, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan Speedway, and Daytona International Speedway. These tracks stand at the few remaining opportunities for drivers to win and lock up a spot in the playoffs.
Dillon currently sits just below the cut line. He is five points behind teammate Tyler Reddick, who holds onto the final spot. Kevin Harvick is just above Reddick with an 82-point advantage. Though neither driver has a win in the 2021 season.
The two remaining oval tracks will serve as Dillon’s best opportunities to lock up a spot in the playoffs. He has 17 starts at Michigan with two top-five finishes and five top-10s. Dillon also has 16 starts at Daytona, a win in the 2018 Daytona 500, and three top-five finishes.
For comparison, Dillon has six starts at Watkins Glen, the next track on the schedule. His best finish is 14th in the 2014 season, but he will strive to perform far better on Aug. 8 as he showcases his new sponsor.
Dillon Will Have Two New Sponsors at Watkins Glen
When Dillon heads to the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y., he will work with two new sponsors. The Cowboy Channel will cover the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet Camaro in the Cup Series race while Mayhem Athlete will take over the No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro for the Xfinity Series race, which takes place at 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 7.
Based in Cookeville, Tenn., Mayhem Athlete is part of the CrossFit Mayhem family. The gym and founder Rich Froning Jr. have accounted for nine gold medals at the CrossFit Games — four in the individual division and five in the team division. Now the company will work with Dillon as he strives to reach Victory Lane and gain experience for the Cup Series race.
The 2013 Nationwide Series champion will start near the rear of the pack based on NASCAR’s starting lineup formula. Dillon will line up on the 17th row next to Michael Munley. Racing his way to the front of the pack will not be a simple task, but Dillon will have 82 laps to achieve his goal.