The Monster Energy (MNST) NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continued Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch won the ISM Connect 300, advancing in to the round of 12 in the process. JWS got the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Austin Dillon, currently sitting in 13th place, to discuss his corporate sponsorship partners, investment portfolio and a decision to sell (an equity) that he regrets. Austin finished 19th in Sunday’s race after being involved in an 8-car wreck.

How does your passion for sports drive the corporate sponsorship partners you have?

Austin Dillon: I’m a huge outdoorsman, so I started out with Bass Pro Shops (CAB). That was an easy tie-in for me with my hunting and fishing background. From a racing standpoint, I used to be with AdvoCare and their Rehydrate product. I enjoyed using the product. We won a championship with them. I’m now with Dow Chemical Company (DWDP) and their scientists and engineers directly make an impact on our car through technological advances. 

Do you personally invest in your corporate sponsors?

Austin Dillon: Every sponsor that I have, that is traded (CAB, DWDP, GIS), I have stock in. It works well. You can build together. When you are running well, they are doing well. It’s cool how that works.

You mentioned that you do a little bit of trading for fun.  Can you share a few of your holdings?

Austin Dillon: Caterpillar (CAT), I had them as one of our partners for a while; my Grandpa did well on Caterpillar. Builders First Source (BLDR) has been doing well. Nintendo (NTDOY). I was playing Pokeman like crazy when it came out and was like I should get some stock, they’ve been doing well. 

Can you give us one trade you’d like to have back?

Austin Dillon: I messed up on Tesla (TSLA), badly. I had it at $44. One of my engineers was like ‘it’s not going anywhere’ and I sold it (currently at $351). I had around 200 shares.

Howie Long-Short: Dow Chemical Corporation and DuPont Co., the 2 largest American chemical makers, completed a $130 billion merger in late August. As of September 1st, the company began to trade under the symbol DWDP. DWDP is expected to split into 3 separate companies (agriculture, specialty products and materials).

Fan Marino: Austin Dillon played for the South-East team in the 2002 Little League World Series. South East made the 2017 United States Championships and Austin was given opportunity to give the kids a pep-talk before the game. South-East ended up losing a heartbreaker to South-West, 6-5. Nolan Ryan delivered the South-West team’s pregame speech.


The Federal Reserve System has approved the proposed acquisition of World’s Foremost Bank (Cabela’s credit card business) by Synovus Bank, eliminating the last significant hurdle in Bass Pro Shops’ purchase of Cabela’s (CAB). Under the proposed deal, Synovus (SNV) would assume $1.2 billion in deposits, $4.1 billion in non-deposit liabilities and the balance of World’s assets, approximated to total $5.7 billion. Capital One (COF) would take over credit card receivables upon completion of the deal. Back in July, Cabela’s shareholders overwhelmingly voted (78%) in favor of selling the retail business for $4.2 billion. The deal is expected to close by October 3rd.

Howie Long-Short: Cabela’s shareholders are breathing a sigh of relief, as the Fed’s October 3rd deadline was quickly approaching. The company recently reported Q2 profits/earnings, with YOY same store sales down 9.7% and profits down 25% from 2016 figures. Had the deal not been approved, Bass Pro Shops almost certainly would have walked away or demanded a lower sales price.

Fan Marino: There is apparently a trend of teenagers jumping into the large aquariums at Bass Pro Shops. Anything for the Snapchat!



It has been nearly a month since Cabela’s (CAB) shareholders voted to approve a merger with Bass Pro Shops, but the company’s future remains as murky as ever. CAB‘s Q2 earnings report revealed a 9.3% decrease in revenue from the same time last year and a big EPS miss (reported $.41/share; analysts expected $.60/share). The outdoor recreation retailer had agreed to a buyout worth approximately $61.50 per share, but after recent bad news, Bass Pro Shops could be looking for a way out of the $4.2 billion deal, and may just have it. If Cabela’s fails to gain Federal Reserve approval to sell its credit card business to Synovus Financial prior to October 3rd, then Bass Pro Shops can walk from the deal without penalty.


Cabela’s reports drop in second-quarter sales, largely due to slump in firearm purchases

Howie Long-Short: Add Cabela’s to the list of companies hurt by weak gun sales. Amazing how much politics drives this.

Fan Marino: My uncle is a hunter. 21 years. 1 deer. True Story.