Daytona 500 Champions

Daytona 500 was Faith in the Flesh

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It was Jesus! I know this sounds crazy but the Lord spoke to us before the race and told us AD was going to win. The Lord works in perfect timing. It may be hard to understand His plan before but you must trust that He is in complete control going before us turning our no's into yes's, opening our shut doors, and paving ways out of no ways.

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Austin winning the Daytona 500 was so much bigger than him, than us, than Nascar, it was about God.

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The 3 team are the Daytona 500 CHAMPIONS. We made history. We saw history being made right before our very own eyes. 

 Austin Dillon with Dale Earnhardt / Daytona 500 / 1998 

Austin Dillon with Dale Earnhardt / Daytona 500 / 1998 

So let this sink in. 20 years ago, my husband, Austin Dillon, was in victory lane with Dale Earnhardt. This year was the 60th anniversary of the Daytona 500. It was an extremely special year to win and especially with the 3 car. The history behind Austin, Richard Childress, Dale and the 3 car is so special. This win was like a story book ending.

 Austin Dillon in Victory Lane / Daytona 500 / 2018

Austin Dillon in Victory Lane / Daytona 500 / 2018

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Bubba Wallace finished P2, right behind AD. He’s the first African-American to finish that high in the Daytona 500. On top of that, Derrell Edwards, was the first African-American over-the-wall pit crew member to win the Daytona 500 last weekend. History was made in so many different ways. Thank you Jesus!!!!!

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 3 team crew / 3team1dream

3 team crew / 3team1dream

We all knew this year was going to be special. 2018 is the year of greatness. 2018 is the year of increase. 2018 is the year of the woman!

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 Our family / Whitney, Austin, and Gucci Girl Dillon 

Our family / Whitney, Austin, and Gucci Girl Dillon 

Austin and I recently were married on December 9th, 2017. I’ve been praying for the number 3 team since I started dating Austin a little over 2 years ago. I knew amazing, unreal, incredible things were coming our way the moment we said I do. There is so much power and value in knowing that God brought us together for a bigger purpose and for a bigger reason. We’re here for more than just winning races. We were joint together by God to change the world with love. I also believe that the entire 3 team was brought together for a bigger purpose.  

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 Austin Dillon / Crew Chief, Justin Alexander

Austin Dillon / Crew Chief, Justin Alexander

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Listen, this is the year of saints! Mariel’s mama told us this was the year of Greatness and if we walked by Faith and not by sight, the unbelievable would happen. Many people don’t know that before Austin and I got married my biggest request was for him to be baptized. 

Pastor Ray (our Pastor who married us) baptized Austin, his dad Mike, and mom Mrs. Tina all before the wedding. It was such an emotional and powerful night at the barn. You can't tell me God does not reward His servants.

What’s even crazier about this win is that we were able to experience this as a family! Both Mariel and I’s biggest dream was for Paul to be on the number 3 team, and Paul made the number three team this year! We were able to all experience this victory together. Unbelievable.

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 Rick Ward, Shawnee Ward, Austin Dillon, Whitney Dillon / 2018 / Pre Race Daytona 500

Rick Ward, Shawnee Ward, Austin Dillon, Whitney Dillon / 2018 / Pre Race Daytona 500

The day of the race

Before driver intros, we had a group of people praying over Austin in our bus. After the prayer, it was just AD and I in the bus and I told him that he was going to win on the last lap. I told him that it wasn't going to be pretty but remember Faith over Fear. My last words were walk by Faith, not by sight.

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Our first thought when he won?

JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! God demonstrated Faith to so many people that night. It was all about what FAITH can do. “Walk by Faith not by sight” is written on my vision board along with winning the Daytona 500. Both of these happened that night and so many witnessed it.

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 Austin and Jackie (AD's PR)

Austin and Jackie (AD's PR)

Champions Media Week

The next day, we had a Champions breakfast where they presented the Daytona 500 Champions jackets. It was so cool to have the entire 3 team there for media. I love watching this team interact with each other. It's a brotherhood and these guys are all like family.

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Every team member signed the winning car (including me) which will stay in the museum for one full year.

Austin and I flew to NYC all week for more media. We are officially exhausted but the really good kind of exhausted. Here is a picture of AD on Live with Kelly and Ryan! So cool.

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What a week! I will never forget this moment or this feeling. I want to end with this... Walk by Faith, not by Sight! Be good to people and always do the right thing.

XO

Whit + Mariel