Uncut with Jay Cutler: Paul Swan Talks Transition From College Football to NASCAR, Starring in Austin Dillon’s Reality TV Show

by Chris Haney

This week we’ve got another good one for you on Uncut with Jay Cutler as Paul Swan joins the show to talk about his NASCAR career and newfound fame because of reality TV. Swan is NASCAR driver Austin Dillon‘s lead tire handler of the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro. The 32-year-old is also one of the stars of Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fastlane on the USA Network. So, host Jay Cutler had plenty to talk about with Swan considering they’re both athletes who have starred on a reality series.

Swan has lived a fascinating life within the sports world starting with his football career. As a teenager, he signed for Bowling Green State University where he played as a linebacker during his five years in college. Following his collegiate career, Swan took a different path within sports. He took a job working for Richard Childress Racing to help with the pit crew’s strength training.

While working for RCRT in 2014, Swan met racer Austin Dillon, and the pair became close friends. Eventually, the former football player would join his friend’s pit crew where today he works as the team’s lead tire handler. However, it was Swan and Dillon’s relationship on and off the race track that led to a reality TV show. The show follows the lifestyle of the Daytona 500 winner, along with his friends and family. Since Dillon and his wife are extremely close with Swan and his wife, they’re each mainstays in the TV series.

During his appearance on Uncut with Jay Cutler, our host talks to Paul Swan about his journey from playing linebacker to NASCAR. He shares how he got into racing, how he earned his full-time role, and shares the dangers of working on pit road. Swan also opens up about the experience of winning the 2018 Daytona 500 with Austin Dillon.

Plus, he also talks about his role on his friend’s reality TV show and how much he’s enjoyed it so far. We’ve got that and much more this week with Paul Swan on the newest episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler.

Paul Swan Shares His Journey From College Football to NASCAR

When growing up in Wisconsin, Paul Swan didn’t only play football. He was an all-around athlete that played several sports, including basketball, football, baseball, and running track. As he got older though, he started to focus on basketball and football the most.

Like any other kid growing up in Wisconsin, Swan wanted to play football for the Wisconsin Badgers. But the coaches thought he was undersized, so he signed with Bowling Green instead. Following five years in Ohio, and not much interest from the NFL, Swan went to Wake Forest University to work as a strength coach. While at WFU, mutual connections put him in touch with NASCAR teams who were looking for former athletes for their pit crews.

“They put them on these pit crews because they figure hey, let’s take these athletes and teach them what they need to know,” Paul Swan explained on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “Teach them the basics about a car and teach them how to do a pit stop really fast. And it’s gonna help [them] gain spots and make a lot of money. I heard about that, and it’s a way to still be an athlete, still be on a team and go make a good living doing it.”

Swan started at the bottom of the totem pole as he said, but he got his foot in the door with Richard Childress Racing. He kept at it and worked his way up and was eventually able to earn his way into one of the top positions on a pit crew.

“Just like anything, you’ve gotta work your way up,” Swan said. “You know, doing the bottom of the totem pole stuff not making a lot of money. But finally worked my way up, got some opportunities and ran with it. And now this is my fifth year being on Austin’s pit crew.”

Paul Swan Talks Starring in Austin Dillon’s Reality TV Show

You could say in a roundabout way that Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fastlane began in 2015. Dillon invited his future wife, Whitney, and her best friend, Mariel, to his race in Kentucky. The two women hilariously thought they were going to the Kentucky Derby, not a NASCAR race. So they were confused when they got to the track and there were no horses around.

However, that one fateful weekend would change all of their lives. The four friends became inseparable after that as Austin and Whitney started dating. Around 8 months later, Paul and Mariel took their friendship to the next level when they started dating. By 2017, the Dillons had tied the knot, and the Swans followed suit in 2019 when they said their own vows. The two couples are still hang out and are around each other all the time, and that’s a huge part of Austin Dillon’s Life in the Fastlane.

The reality series debuted on the USA Network earlier this summer on June 23rd. The show follows the daily lives of the NASCAR driver, his family, and friends. Yet their wives were already on a NASCAR-themed reality show a few years back called Racing Wives. Austin and Paul made appearances occasionally on the show, and producers loved the dynamic between the four friends. Therefore they signed them to their own project.

“We did the show, and had a blast doing it,” Swan said of his reality TV show experience. “I feel like it went pretty well, and the show’s going really well right now. We had a ton of fun doing it. It was cool because they let us be us. And they let us just enjoy each other and be the way we are. There’s nothing fake about it and all that stuff. You know how some of that stuff gets sometimes.”

Paul Swan talks at length about his experiences in NASCAR and on the reality show along with much more on the new Uncut with Jay Cutler. Make sure to watch the entire interview in the video above, or tune in and listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.