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Who Is Paul Swan? Meet Austin Dillon's Tire Carrier And Best Friend
"Austin Dillon's Life In The Fast Lane" shows the home life of the NASCAR crew's Lead Tire Carrier, Paul Swan.
Swan and Dillon met back in 2014 when they crossed paths on the Richard Childress Racing Team. Austin is an RCR legacy while Paul was a former college football player for Bowling Green State University who joined up to help with the pit crew’s strength training. When his commitment and drive to the team were noticed by the larger crew, he worked his way up the ranks and today works as Austin’s Lead Tire Carrier — not to mention one half of the biggest “bromance” in NASCAR.
Austin Dillon and Paul Swan: Best Friends
You only need to look at their social media pages (or watch the show) to see how close these two guys are. If they're not spending time with their families, these two are never very far apart. And family life has become a joint venture. Whitney Dillon just so happens to be best friends with Mariel Swan, so the two couples are often celebrating big milestones together.
"We love doing the show with our two best friends. And you know, that's what [it's] based on, the four of us, our core group, and our love for each other," Paul told Distractify in 2022.
Life in Austin Dillon's Pit Crew
For those who are unfamiliar, tire carriers in professional racing are exactly what they sound like. Paul is responsible for getting the new tires over the pit wall and to the tire changers as fast as humanly possible. He works directly with the jackman to assist with rear tire changes as well as the front tire changes. However, the core part of the tire carrier's responsibility is control, according to Autoweek. Teams will be penalized for any runaway tires, not to mention the safety hazard they cause.
In order to maintain control, speed, and endurance throughout a full day of racing, pit crew members, especially tire carriers, need to be in tip-top physical shape. Fortunately, that’s not an issue for Swan, who spends most of his off time exercising and focusing on his strict diet (when he’s not partying, of course). In fact, speaking in a 2020 interview with “Behind The Lights,” Paul noted that he studied exercise science while in college.
“It’s like any sport. It’s a career,” Paul tells host Sam Green. “It’s how long can you stay in it? How good can you stay? How healthy can you stay? Can you keep your body in good form? Because there’s always going to be younger guys trying to take your job.”
He adds there are athletic perks such as medical treatments, massages, coaches, and more.
“It’s just like any sport,” he says. “You’re going to get what you put into it.”
It's an intense job, for sure. Just look at a video of a pit stop Paul shared on his Instagram:
Like Austin, though, Paul shows no signs of yielding his position to a younger tire-carrying hopeful. He notes in the interview there are people on Pit Road who are in their 50s still performing at a high level and he hopes to be there too one day.
He certainly is well on his way: in October 2022, Paul inked a six-year contract with Richard Childress Racing, ensuring he'll be able to do what he loves for years to come.
Do Paul and Mariel Swan Have Any Children?
He and Mariel welcomed their first child, daughter Bella Victoria Swan, in May 2022.
Originally published Jun 7, 2022.