Whitney Dillon Of Life In The Fast Lane Talks Her Return To Reality TV — Exclusive Interview

Whitney Dillon might not be the NASCAR racer in the family, but she certainly lives her life in the fast lane. As the wife of racing star Austin Dillon, the former professional cheerleader identifies as the CEO of the family. That's far from her only professional title, though. She is also a busy mom, blogger, entrepreneur, and reality TV star. You might already be familiar with Whitney from her gig on the CMT reality series "Racing Wives." More recently, she, Austin, and their best friends, Mariel and Paul Swan, have been starring in "Austin Dillon's Life in the Fast Lane" on the USA Network. 

Speaking exclusively to The List, Dillon revealed how "Life in the Fast Lane" was born after the 2nd season of "Racing Wives" didn't come together and spilled some tea on the group's experience at the network that features hits like "Growing Up Chrisley." Whitney also spoke about several other projects she has going on with Mariel. The best friends run The BFF Blog. Don't let the title fool you; it's about their friendship, but BFF also stands for "beauty, fashion, and fitness"! The duo joined forces to launch a jewelry line — Shop the WM — and is in the midst of developing a fitness app. 

How do they manage all that, film for a reality series, and travel the country to attend races like the Coca-Cola 600? Whitney shared her secrets and more. 

Austin Dillon's Life in the Fast Lane is about family instead of drama

This isn't your first run on reality TV. How would you say "Life in the Fast Lane" differs from "Racing Wives"?

"Racing Wives" was based on a bunch of wives in NASCAR and centered around a lot of drama. I loved filming "Racing Wives." It was a lot of fun, but this time around it's centered on family, and it's centered a lot more on racing. This time was a lot more enjoyable because I got to film with my husband, my best friend, and our squad a whole lot — so definitely this time was better for us.

You said it's about family, and the chemistry you have with Austin [Dillon] and Mariel and Paul [Swan] is so amazing. It looks like you guys have such a great time together. Do you think this show has made you even closer?

Yes, I definitely think so. We were neighbors for four or five years. And Austin [and I] bought a house in 2020, so it separated us. It's still only 20 minutes away, but still, it's different when you're neighbors. So [the show] forced all of our schedules to come together and definitely made us closer. We experienced things together filming the show that we wouldn't normally get to experience and do.

What inspired you guys to come up with the idea for the show? Was there a moment where you were like, "We should record this for TV"?

It bounced off from "Racing Wives." When we were filming "Racing Wives," 2020 happened, and they just canceled it. We were really good friends with our production company and Jenny [Daly], so we reached out to Jenny and said, "Hey, if there's ever an opportunity that comes up, our squad, we would love to do something. We would love to show RCR and our family and our faith and everything that we are about. So if it ever comes up, just give us a call."

Then she called us two years later and said, "Hey, there's an opening for USA Network, and we think that we can put together a pilot if you guys want to do it." We were like, "Oh my gosh, yeah." They used a ton of footage from "Racing Wives," and we did a couple of Skype interviews. Jenny and her team put it all together. It was amazing. Then USA bought it a couple of months later.

Whitney Dillon is 'an open book by nature,' making her a reality TV pro

Do you have a favorite moment that got caught on camera this season?

That's a good question. There's a moment, and it hasn't been shown yet, but it's at one of the race tracks. It is the Coca-Cola 600, and they filmed and it's absolutely amazing. They have the most amazing footage of the race and all of us on the pit box. That was probably my favorite, but it hasn't happened yet.

So it's coming. There's something to look forward to.

Yes, it's coming.

Between your experience with "Racing Wives," your blog, and your presence on social media, you seem to lead a really open life. What's it been like, as this season is airing, knowing that everyone is watching?

I'm wired differently. My husband [and I] were actually just talking about this. I'm such an open book by nature, so these kind[s] of things don't bother me, but I have people in my life that [are] scared. They're like, "Oh my gosh." I tend to be too open, so that's the good thing about our squad. Austin [Dillon] will reel us in and be like, "Hey, let's not be so open."

But it's been really good because I think that's what the world needs. We need realness. We need people to be who they actually are, not who they're pretending to be. When I'm around Paul and Mariel [Swan] and Austin and my family, we are who we actually are all together. Our chemistry is amazing, and we're a fun group. And we're really goofy. We like to have a lot of fun.

There is interest in filming a 2nd season of the series

It seems like the fun really comes through. It seems like everything is very authentic, which is, like you said, great to see on TV.

Yes. We had so much fun. It was funny because when we would film, they would film us just eating dinner at the house, and they would say, "Okay, cut, y'all," and "Enjoy your dinner," and they would be packing up. And I would go up to our producer, Ken [Snow], and be like, "Ken, is this good? Y'all are done? Are you sure?" And they're like, "Yeah, we're done. It was great."

We were just being who we are, and it was so natural. It was so different from "Racing Wives" because [in] "Racing Wives," they had to have all the drama connect and there was a story. There's not really a story here in "Life in the Fast Lane." You're just following along our lives as we're going from racetrack to racetrack, and you see what we do during the week. It was a lot of fun.

Are you interested in doing a 2nd season of the show?

I really hope that we do get a 2nd season. We had so much fun filming. It was only for two and a half months, and we have a great crew. Our crew was phenomenal to work with. We love USA. Yeah, we're hoping for a 2nd season.

Something that I thought was really great was that you refer to yourself as the CEO of the Dillon family. I'm wondering what comes with that job title.

I am the therapist. I am somewhat of the money manager. We have different properties that we buy and we renovate, [and] I'm in charge of all of that, picking out everything. We're also renovating a little bit of our own house, [and] I'm in charge of all that — really, any task that comes up. Austin [Dillon] is so busy at the race shop and racing and then the PBR, so I handle all things that come through the house.

Whitney Dillon's beauty must-haves are spray tan and lip gloss

You have a lot going on there, and you do that on top of everything else that you have. I wanted to talk about your blog a little bit. The BFF from BFF Blog is short for "beauty, fashion, and fitness." What are some of your beauty must-haves?

If I have a spray tan and lip gloss, the Buxom Lip Gloss, I'm 100% amazing. The lip plumper, and then the name of it is Samantha. If I have my lip gloss and my tan on, I'm feeling good...

I only get ready on the weekends. Throughout the week, usually I'm not decked out. I'm running around craz[ily] trying to get prepared for the weekend. On the weekends, it is a little different ... I have my full glam. I have my eyelashes. I have all my stuff on when I go to the racetrack and all that. Through the week, I'm simple.

How would you describe your style?

I feel like I'm pretty classic. Sometimes I go out [of] the box and I'm crazy and all that, but my true style, if I'm not impacted by the world and what everybody else is doing, I'm really simplistic. I really love JLUXLABEL and classic, sexy pieces. I like a lot of black and whites; I don't do a ton of color. So [I would say] probably just classic.

Whitney Dillon and Mariel Swan's jewelry line has its roots in Racing Wives

Speaking of style, you and Mariel [Swan] launched a jewelry line. What inspired that?

When we were filming "Racing Wives," we wanted to come up with something that we love. And we love everything. We love hair, nail, fashion, jewelry, so it was so hard to choose just one thing that we wanted to do. [Then] it just fell in our lap. It was [a] funny thing. We were at the racetrack, and there was this guy that came up to us and said, "Hey, I have a jewelry manufacturer, and I would love if you guys created a company and created everything through my company, and I would love to represent you guys." So we were like, "Oh my gosh, yes. This is amazing."

We designed every little detail. They helped us with everything, all the way down to the logo. Our jewelry is so special because our logo is stamped in the jewelry. Our jewelry is also very classic. Mariel has a background in pageantry, so we wanted to make these pieces special. You could wear them to a nice event, a wedding, pageants, anything like that, so they are fancier pieces. We created four collections, and we have kept with those collections because they keep selling because they're so classic.

Do you have a favorite piece that you have created so far?

Yes. Probably for both me and Mariel, our favorite is called the Trio Necklace. It's always sold out as soon as we get them in. [It sells] out because it's very dainty, and it's got three little pieces on the necklace. It has our logo on it, and it's really clean. You can wear it with anything.

All the chains are removable, so you can wear them as all three, [or] you can wear just one of them. You can do a lot of fun things. Also, we made the clasp in the back a lobster clasp so they're really big and easy to use. We were trying to make it as easy as possible because we hate jewelry that [is] so little that it's hard to put on. We were trying to keep everybody in mind while creating these.

The best friends also have a fitness app in the works

How did you guys come up with Shop the WM as the name?

Shop the WM, it stands for Whitney and Mariel. We wanted to make it clean. Our blog is fun, the BFF Blog: beauty, fashion, and fitness. Also, we're best friends, so that's really fun and girly. We wanted to make the jewelry company sleek and something that everybody could wear.

The pieces on the website, they're all very beautiful, very classic. Do you have plans to do any additional pieces in the future?

Yes, we are actually working on that. When 2020 hit, our manufacturer crashed. They ended up going bankrupt and going under, so we lost everything except for what we already had. We are in the process now of finding a manufacturer that can create the jewelry to be the quality that it once was. We've had different manufacturers, but we didn't feel right [in] going with them because we wanted our jewelry to be at least the exact quality of what we already had. So we're in search [of] that right now. Wish us luck, because it has been really difficult. 2020 was a serious hit on the world.

Another thing that I saw you're in the process of developing is a fitness app. Can you spill any tea about what that will be like?

Yes! I had my son in 2020, and then Mariel [Swan] has had Bella recently, in the past couple months. I have always been fit my entire life. I've never had a moment where I got off track; it's always been a passion of mine. Even in fifth grade, I had a six-pack. When we had babies and we had to lose the weight, we found all these different tips and tricks, so we wanted to put that in an app. We wanted to show people, because it really is a science. It's not just getting on the treadmill and running until you can't run anymore and starving yourself and only eating lettuce and all that. You have to feed your body a specific way; you have to work out a certain way. It all comes down to the science, so we wanted to put that in our app.

Whitney Dillon loves working with her best friend

You and Mariel [Swan] collaborate on so many things. What is it like working with your best friend?

It is absolutely everything in the world. We have so much fun together, and I wish we could do everything together. We both turn down deals so much because we'd rather do the ones that are together. We will take less money, but if we're together, we don't care. It doesn't even matter.

On top of all of your different businesses, you're both young moms. How do you balance everything?

It is so hard — I cannot even lie to you — because when you bring a baby into the world ... And we also travel. That's the hardest part. Our life is like a vacation every week. When you go on vacation every week, you're thinking about the things that you need to pack. You're thinking about the things that you need to take. That's how our lives are for 35 weeks out of the year. We're packing and unpacking, and when we get home, Mondays are exhausting.

You have to take it day by day and give yourself a lot of grace. You're going to have good days; you're going to have bad days. On the days that are hard, be gentle with yourself, don't put so much pressure on yourself, and do the best you can. That's what we live by. We're just doing the best that we can do.

Mariel just welcomed Bella. Are you guys looking forward to play dates between Ace and Bella once Bella's old enough?

Yes. We talk about it all the time. We're like, "We cannot wait until Bella gets a little bit older." We think they're going to be best friends just like we are and be thick as thieves ...

It goes by so quick. My mom always says the days are long, but the years are short. So it's so important to cherish those moments while you have them.

New episodes of "Austin Dillon's Life in the Fast Lane" air Thursdays on USA Network at 9:30 p.m. ET.

This interview has been edited for clarity.