Austin Dillon never imagined he’d have a reality show. But it’s 2022, and anything can happen.
On Thursday evening at 9:30 pm, “Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane” debuts on the USA Network. The show focuses on Dillon, his wife Whitney, and their best friends, Paul and Mariel Swan.
“It’s cool because anybody can watch this show,” Dillon said ahead of the show’s debut. “You have the girls, who are fun, loving and funny. You have Paul, who is wide open and brings energy to the show. Then, there’s me, who’s focused on my job and Nascar. I’m the one who’s steady Eddy.”
Dillon, who drives the famous No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing — his grandfather’s team, is thrilled about the opportunity to bring Nascar to a new audience.
But signing up the 2018 Daytona 500 champion for this project wasn’t such a simple task.
“I set a lot of ultimatums,” he said. “My wife filmed a show called ‘Racing Wives.’ It’s with her, Mariel and Paul and I said, ‘I would never film a show unless it’s about our group and what we do at RCR.’ We got asked to film a pilot, but I didn’t think it would come to anything.
“Then, sure enough, USA Network picked it up. A couple of months later, we started filming and people were coming inside our home and became part of the family. It’s pretty exciting.”
Throughout the show, you’ll see Dillon joking around with Swan, one of his pit crew members. The two have grown extremely close to one another, as have both of their better halves.
“We show personalities from everyone in the show,” Dillon joked. “Paul is always on 10. USA will end up using him in some kind of WWE format at some point.”
Through 16 races in the 2022 season, Dillon has three top fives – already more than last year – and six top 10s, on pace to potentially surpass his career highs in both categories. During the show, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at two of his runner-up finishes in 2022, including near wins at both Auto Club Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
“We’ve had some really good runs this year,” Dillon said. “We were so close to getting that win. We’re right on the outside looking in for the playoffs.”
With 10 races remaining in the regular season, Dillon ranks 19th on the playoff grid, 47 points below the cutline, currently held by Aric Almirola.
The reality show debuts just ahead of a major weekend for USA Network.
USA Network will feature 11 Nascar Cup Series races and 15 Xfinity Series races in the second half of the 2022 season. It’s the first time since the summer of 2016 that Nascar races will be on the network. That year, the Cup Series race at Watkins Glen was on USA because of the Summer Olympics.
This year, NBC opted to move some races to USA after it shuttered NBCSN in late 2021. Because of this, Nascar is exploring the possibility of having fans pay to watch races after 2024, as part of its next TV rights deal.
USA Network’s first race will be broadcast on Sunday, July 3 at 3 pm from Road America. NBC takes over its portion of the schedule this weekend, with the Cup race airing at 5 pm on Sunday, June 26.