Dillon's Cup Debut Honors Ronald Reagan

Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon will make his Sprint Cup debut this Sunday. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration will be commemorated by Austin Dillon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut driving the No.98 Curb Agajanian/Reagan Centennial/Camping World/Curb Records Chevrolet in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

The original announcement of the program was made March 27 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The Ronald Reagan Centennial is a historic, year-long celebration to commemorate the 100th birthday of the 40th President of the United States of America. A series of substantive and celebratory events, partnerships, and initiatives sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation are planned throughout 2011, including the Ronald Reagan tribute album which is being released nationally by Curb Records in connection with the Kansas race.

"It's an honor to make my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with the support of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, Mike Curb and Camping World," said Dillon, who is a Co-Chair of the National Youth Leadership Committee of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration. "I think this weekend will be an opportunity to get experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and to race at a totally different level while highlighting the accomplishments of one of our nation's greatest leaders."

Dillon currently leads the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings with five races remaining in just his second full season in the series. The Lewisville, N.C., native finished fifth in the 2010 NCWTS point standings and was named rookie of-the-year. He recently equaled his win total from last year with his second victory of the season, in the Sept. 25 Fast Five 225 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. His NCWTS pit crew, led by crew chief Danny Stockman, will serve in the same roles for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The Kansas Speedway race by Dillon will be the 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start for car co-owner Mike Curb. and Curb-Agajanian Racing. Curb said, "We are proud to be in a partnership with Richard Childress and his very talented grandson, Austin Dillon, who will be making his Sprint Cup debut in Kansas. We appreciate all the work that everyone at RCR and FullCircle has done to make this weekend possible". Curb was directly involved back in the mid-1980s in reuniting car owner Richard Childress with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. The tandem went on to win 67 races and six NASCAR Cup Series championships together in the famed No. 3 Chevrolets.

Curb sponsored Dale Earnhardt during his first championship season in the No. 2 Curb Records car in 1980 and was also later the car owner for Richard Petty.

As President, Ronald Reagan started the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona where he gave the command, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" from aboard Air Force One. Later that day, Air Force One landed at Daytona International Airport behind the speedway, in full view of the fans. That day, Richard Petty captured his historic 200th victory in Curb's car.

In addition to being Curb's 100th start, we are also celebrating the Centennial of Ronald Reagan's birthday. Earlier this year the Ronald Reagan logo was displayed on the Centennial Indianapolis 500 winning car which was owned by Herta/Curb-Agajanian.

"The Reagan Foundation is honored to join with Mike Curb and Richard Childress for this historic tribute," said Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director, Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. "Mike Curb and Ronald Reagan were great friends and it is a reflection of that friendship that this race connects the legacy of Ronald Reagan with the next generation of American leaders like Austin Dillon."

Camping World, the world's largest retailer of recreational vehicles and the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR, will also serve as a partner on the No. 98 Chevrolet this weekend.

"We're thrilled and honored to be partnering with the Ronald Regan Presidential Foundation and Curb Agajanian to sponsor Austin in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Kansas Speedway," said Marcus Lemonis, "Austin has done an excellent job representing our brand as a competitor and currently the points leader in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series.  We're excited to extend the relationship into the highest level of NASCAR competition, and we believe he's going to turn a few heads on Sunday."

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