Living life in the fast lane! While Austin Dillon is used to fast-driving cars on the NASCAR circuit, the professional athlete and his wife, Whitney Dillon (née Ward), have found that parenting is a whole new arena.
“Centering [our relationship] off of God is first and foremost and knowing that Whitney reminds me constantly, you know, ‘put the phone down, it’s time for family time,’” the race car driver, 32, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 21, while promoting his Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane docuseries in a joint interview with Whitney, 32. “I’m constantly working on either racing or our PBR [professional bull riding] team [I founded]. So when we sit down to have time for each other, we’ve been really working on that and just working together and pushing each other in our careers and what we love to do. And you know, since we’ve had [our son] Ace, our mind’s really been set on him.”
The couple, who wed in December 2017 after two years of dating, welcomed their first child in June 2020.
“Wow, @whitneydillon you amaze me every day! This by far is your biggest feat yet. My love for you and @acedillon3 is Agape Love,” Austin gushed via Instagram at the time, sharing a hospital pic of the family of three. “Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was say goodbye to go race today. Hopefully, we bring back a trophy for Ace on the first day we welcomed him into this world! 👶🏻♠️”
While NASCAR racing takes plenty of practice, the North Carolina native noted that it doesn’t hold a candle to parenting.
“Aw, man, racing after toddlers [is] definitely more challenging for sure,” Austin jokedly told Us on Tuesday. “Oh, I’m sure [the ‘terrible twos’ are] coming. I mean, he has his fits right now. He’s a little stud [and we’re] starting to call him ‘Bam Bam’ [because] he runs into everything and just tears things up.”
Nearly two years after their little one was born, the married couple have been doting over his milestones and dealing with relatable parenting struggles — including getting rid of the beloved pacifier.
“He only has [his binky] at night and we’ve gotten rid of it once already,” the Daytona 500 champion told Us. “So we just gotta go back to it. But yeah, that, and you know, it’s just working on, like, speech with him [and] trying to get him to communicate his words is probably the biggest thing.”
He added: “Goal [Ace] knows where to point and go pick out his own meals and, like, he’ll go to the fridge and pull out exactly what he wants. So yeah, he’s doing good.”
While Austin and Whitney are focused on Ace’s development, they can’t help but look ahead to his future as a potential racer.
“I would love it,” the Shop The WM boutique owner revealed to Us on Tuesday. “I would love if Ace was a race car driver and took on the three and really continues the family legacy [because] that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about family at RCR [Richard Childress Racing].”
Austin, for his part, added: “I just want him to have drive and commitment in whatever he does, whatever, if it’s a sport, if it’s anything that he wants to do, I just want him to have that drive commitment [and] passion to do it, and I wanna support him and teach him if I can teach him and help him.”
As Austin and Whitney’s brood expands, they are documenting their life on their eponymous Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane docuseries.
“We live a really crazy life, so it’s cool to see all the on-track activities and then off-track activities that we do as well,” the former Tennessee Titans cheerleader explained about their reality TV experience. “I’m the most excited about our family dinners that is always, like, we just have a lot of fun with our dinners. And so our dinner scenes are fun and exciting.”
She added: “It’s cool because now when we film, we all get to be together. And so I love that aspect of it is that it pushes our family together even more.”
While teasing the couple’s West Coast road trip in a forthcoming episode, Austin opened up about why the pair were keen to show off their world on television.
“I think opening eyes to NASCAR [for] people that have never seen it before and what we do getting to the track and then at the track,” he added. “So just that behind-the-scenes pass of what a family goes through that’s in NASCAR.”
Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fast Lane premieres on USA Network Thursday, June 23, at 9:30 pm ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi