To the followers…

It has been an amazing 2016 season. From start to finish many of you have followed me and bared with me. From the weekly posts to the opinions and interviews. You’ve helped make this a great season for me, I thank you.

The final race of the year is often bittersweet. While we get to see a champion crowned we also know that NASCAR is gone until February. Our friends and teams go to the garage and refit for next year. Next year holds so many unknowns and promises it is hard to know what we will see, but there is renewed hope of wins and championships to be won. Every pole position is our’s until proven otherwise and every trophy in our case.

So for my final setup this year…

I project Austin to finish 12th. Averages of 20, 6, 21 in Cup, Xfinity, and Truck respectively comes to 16th and Austin has finished 4 positions above career average throughout the year. Honestly, I know many would be disappointed with that finish and by all means Austin should finish higher. The good thing is that could mean good things for someone.

To start the year Frank Mathalia, engine tuner, and I made a wager. If the team beat my projection I would give Pitstops for Hope $5, if my projection was better than their finish more than they beat it, Frank would match it. As it stands, my projection has been better 14 times and the team beat my projection 11 times. If the team beats me at Homestead that will be $60 to PSFH. That can help a lot of people at a very important time of the year. I only tell you this because I hope others will truly think of those less fortunate and also donate this giving season. It’s the best gift you can give. The gift of hope.

Thank you again for a great year, stay in touch, I’ll see you in the box.

Thank you all, your fans in the stands.

So there it is, the end of the season. From Daytona to Homestead. All those miles on the road, all the miles in the air, and all those miles on the track. Coast to coast to coast and there and back again.

Since early in the year I have been blessed to talk with and meet some of the best people on Earth, the RCR teams. Yes, I have spent most of the time talking with the 3 team, yet I am happy to have met and talked to others also. I have tried to encourage and thank as many as I can from the teams but somehow I just can’t do it after the final race. I do not have the words to properly thank everyone who contributed to this amazing year for Richard Childress Racing. However, I thought I might try… with a little help from my friends…

To all of the RCR teams, thanks for all your hard work this season and for making it exciting! 2017 will be the best year yet! Austin, keep the faith! Before you know it the #3 will become familiar in Victory Lane! Rest up during the off season and come back with a roar!
-Georgette Bowers (@FanRCR)

You guys were the best team on the circuit in 2016! I know how much harder you all work versus the other teams! Austin you are pure class! Slugger I can’t thank you enough for trusting me with my weather forecast!
Sincerely,
Steve Monday (@Rowan_County_wx)
Chief Forecaster Rowan County Weather

Was happy for the team in 2016, made alot of strides toward the future of the 3 team. Austin Dillon’s consistency on track with poles this season and good finishes. We the fans of number 3 forever thank Slugger Labbe & the whole team for showing us the 3 can be on top again!
Thank you,
Richard M.

You guys had an awesome year. Really proud of you all for that. Keep up the great work. The 3 team is gonna be a force to be reckoned with very soon. I’m proud to be supporting you, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for next season!
-Caleb Harris (@CalebHx24 on Twitter)

I wanted to say thanks to Austin, Slugger and the entire #3 team. There has been such a turnaround in performance this year and it’s due to all of your hard work and dedication. I can’t wait to see where the team goes in 2017 and congrats on a great 2016 season!
-Jackson Gleason (@CountryJ14)

Thank you to all the guys in the shop, all the guys at ECR engines, the mechanics on the road, all 100 pit crew guys who jump off that wall without a second thought, the guys on the box, Andy, Austin, and everyone throughout the RCR family. Everyone contributed and took ownership and stepped up to the challenges. I am so proud of every person at RCR for bringing it back to glory. I have missed it. You are all special and important to us fans. Thank you.
-Jonathan Gruenke (@couchcrewchief)

Austin, Slugger, Andy, and all the ones who have worked so hard this year on the #3 team. Thank you. I am so damn proud of you guy’s. Every week I look forward not to just watch the race but to log on to the NASCAR Scanner and listen in on the team communication. You guy’s accomplished a lot this year and it was a blast to be apart of the ride. Congratulations on a great year! Enjoy the off-season and I can’t wait to see you guy’s in Daytona for 2017!!
-Jake Finch (@Jak3Finch)

I personally want to thank the entire RCR 3 team for an amazing season. It truly has been fun to watch and listen to every race knowing that we were always in the hunt. Looking forward to 2017 and all the “W’s” that are going to start coming our way… Enjoy the off-season and get some well-deserved time off with your families.
Happy Holidays!
-Tina Labbe Provost

To: Slugger Labbe- Thank you so much for coming onto this team and breathing new life and energy into it. From track position risks to pit strategies, you have been able to bring excitement to this team. I know Austin appreciates your leadership as do we the fans. Looking forward to some wins really soon.
To: Andy Houston- Thank you for your candor and honesty on the radio. I don’t think I’ve ever shook my head and laughed as much as I did this year listening to the #3 radio. You’re the eyes for this team and it’s obvious how imperative you are to this team’s success.
To: Whitney Ward- I’m happy you’re a huge part of Austin’s life now and it’s beyond obvious that Austin knows he’s the lucky one. Austin seems more level headed and sincere than ever before and it’s because he has someone to balance his competitive nature out. Beyond your relationship with him, it’s great that we now have one more outlet to take a look into our favorite racers lives. When you cheer for a driver and a team, you really start to feel like you’re part of that team. Good luck with your upcoming marriage! We all wish you guys the best!
To: Austin Dillon- When I roll into NASCAR tailgate lots I see flags flying everywhere. 48, 18, 24, 20, 11, 22….etc. I have my own flag as well. I set up the tent, the flag pole, and rope up the flag. #3. Not Dale Earnhardt. Not just the #3. But an Austin Dillon DOW #3 flag. And when I see that flag fly amidst the other flags at that tailgate I know for a fact I’m a little more proud than the rest of those fans. Sure, they have storied drivers, wins, championships….but from when did they begin that fan hood? I believe in your team, your driving abilities, your competitiveness and your will to win. I’ve seen the 25th place finishes, the unlucky spins, the poles, the #3 Dillon DOW leading the pack. But by God I’ll see those WINS very, very soon. It’s gonna taste that much better knowing where you and this team have come from. Go Panthers, Go America, Go 3. Can’t wait for 2017!!
-@wesmesss on Twitter

Congratulations Team 3 for a very successful season! You have definitely proven to your predecessors that you are definitely there competition! I’d like to say a BIG thank you to Mr Richard Childress for bringing back the number 3! This team has definitely proven themselves this season and I’m sure Dale would approve of them as well! I’d like to say a HUGE congratulations to Austin! You have been a breath of fresh air on the track! Watching you mature and seeing you discipline yourself even when the chips were down! AWESOME job! Thanks to Slugger for making some tough decisions and some great decisions! Your definitely an asset to this team! Thanks to the engine man, tire man, jack man, all the pit crew guys, and Andy Houston for helping-being the eye in the sky! You all have a heart of a team like none other! Congratulations to you all on a successful season! I know next year you will be back bigger and better than ever! You’ve all been a joy to watch and cheer for! Thank you for all that each and every one of you do! And being a spoke in a wheel! We need you all! Thanks again!
Sincerely,
Tim Wheaton (@Tpwheaton1Tim)
Soddy Daisy TN
Whitney Ward’s Great Uncle.

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We want to thank all of you men and women for all you have done. For the photos and autographs, for the likes and retweets, for the time taken out of your day to make our day. When we are sick and sore and tired, when the car isn’t running right and the bills are tight, when life gets so busy that we just need a break… You’re there. What you do isn’t just a job, it’s a diversion for us fans. It gives us hope and gives us something positive to think about. It isn’t just Austin and Andy and Slugger, it is every person at RCR and ECR. From bottom to top each of you helps give us that break from reality that we need. We thank you for it. People on every team say, “Thank you for your support.” No team means it more than each of you at RCR & on the 3 team. This is our way of saying, “Thank you for being there for us.”
Sincerely,
Your friends and fans in the stands.

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“My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose-somehow we win out.”

-Ronald Reagan-

…remember the wins…

 

BREAKING NEWS: Slugger Labbe presidential round table

This is a complete work of fiction and should not be taken serious by anyone. It in no way represents anyone, their beliefs, morals, or personal preferences. With all the hard feelings from the election I just wanted to make everyone laugh and thank everyone for their sense of humor. I’m taking the best of this year’s radio chatter and having some fun. Some of you know the abbreviations, but just in case… Slugger Labbe (SL), Austin Dillon (AD), Andy Houston (AH), Ryan Sparks (RS), Richard Childress (RC), Frank Mathalia (FM).

CCC: Slugger I want to thank you and your campaign staff for joining me today.

SL: You do what you gotta do.

CCC: Exactly right. Now your Presidential slogan was, “Make America Short Pit again.” What exactly does that mean?

SL: I dunno, think maybe we got a bad set of tires.

CCC: Ah, I see why you would want to stop early, get ahead of everyone on good tires! I guess that’s exactly what America needs, to get ahead. Who is your running mate here?

SL: That wood block, out of the cart.

CCC: I thought that CART had merged with IRL to form IndyCar, but it’s nice to see an interseries ticket. We haven’t seen Mr. Wood Block since your first visit to Talladega, is there a reason for that?

SL: You gotta move him!

CCC: I see. He doesn’t say much does he?

AH: He’s bein’ real complacent with everyone today.

CCC: Oh, I see. Andy, you’re the campaign manager, do you think you entered the race a little late?

AH: I didn’t have time to wash my hands.

CCC: I hope your wife will put some hand sanitizer in your bag then so you can eat at your next stop. I know you’ve got a stop in Arizona and one in Florida left, but even if you win both of those states that gives you 40 Electoral Votes, 230 shy of what you need. How do you plan to make that up?

AH: I’m using that Hickory math.

CCC: What is Hickory math and how will it help?

AH: Well I have to take off my shoes to count that high….

CCC: No, no… That’s ok. You don’t have to do that. Let’s just move along to Slugger’s campaign strategist, Sparky, what is you platform for this election cycle?

RS: Save fuel immediately.

CCC: What type of fuel are we talking about?

SL: We are about to go green here.

CCC: Renewable resources? That’s great, you think that will capture some votes?

SL: Right sides only.

CCC: Is there a way to get votes from the left?

SL: Don’t lock them up.

CCC: Ah, so freedom. Freedom can get you votes. Now Austin is one of your guys on the ground, Austin how do you help?

AD: I turn it and nothing changes.

CCC: Nothing changes, like votes or people? Is there something you aren’t telling us?

AD: I’d rather be lucky than good!

CCC: Luck does play a big part in elections and you’re lucky to have Richard Childress supporting you. What advice has he given you?

SL: Yeah, Richard…

RC: Stay on top. That’s where the good line is.

MD: If he stayed on top he wouldn’t have any problems.

CCC: So staying above the other candidates is the secret to winning?

FM: Long as they finish behind us.

CCC: Slugger, the AP has called the race for Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton has already conceded but you’re not willing to give up yet. Is there a reason why?

SL: We have a man with a groin injury.

CCC: So you’re doing it for the disabled?

SL: 10-4

AH: Do you want 10-4 or over?

SL: Whichever.

CCC: Frank, we noticed that the other candidates are in the big hotels this weekend but y’all were gathered in the hauler for election night, is there a reason why?

FM: Sure is shiny.

AH: Y’all have a better view of it.

SL: Yeah, it looked good.

CCC: Well can’t argue with that. Slugger, if you don’t win and eventually concede the victory, what do you plan to do.

SL: Make them respect us.

CCC: So you won’t accept the results of the election?

SL: Just gotta rerack.

CCC: So you will run again. Well I look forward to your next presidential bid if this one does not turn out in your favor. Anything else you’d like to say to those tuning in today?

SL: Thanks for not giving up on us.

CCC: Thanks to all of you guys for your time. Now, how do I get out of here?

SL: If you go straight out this gate, that’s the fastest way.

AH: Push him outta the way man, we got to go!

RC: Good job guys.

SL: We will get them next time.

AH: Bye Felicia!!!