Austin Dillon
Austin Dillon
30-Year-Old Driver  
Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress Racing
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The reunion of Dillon and crew chief Justin Alexander went pretty much according to script last season. The duo combined for a surprising win at Texas and Dillon logged nine Top-10 finishes by season's end. It would net an impressive 11th-place finish in the points despite a bit of a malaise during the playoffs. 2020 was a huge success for the No. 3 team after a lackluster 2019 season for Dillon. He and Alexander will remain paired once again this season, which is the good news. However, we do feel like last season was likely a high water mark for this driver and team. It was Dillon's second-highest Top 10 total and tied a career-best mark for finish in the driver standings. A three-season sampling for Dillon is likely to be more indicative of where he goes in 2021. With the Cup Series getting deeper and richer in talent, it's just the most reasonable expectation. Read Past Outlooks
Third in Daytona 500
NASCAR Cup
February 15, 2021
Dillon finished third in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Sunday night.
ANALYSIS
It's been quite a week for the driver of the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet. After capturing the win Thursday night in his Daytona Duel race, Dillon entered the Daytona 500 on a mission. He'd avoid the many multi-car accidents of the night, and survive with the fenders intact to race for the win. Dillon was a fixture among the leaders for most of the race and would lead 7 total laps for the night. As the last-lap wreck sparked among the lead duo, he would navigate through the storm and come out the other side. Dillon would be credited with third-place when the final caution came out. It was his third-career Daytona Top-5 finish and first Top 5 in the Great American Race since his 2018 Daytona 500 victory.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2014
2008
The 2019 season was so disappointing on so many levels for Dillon and the No. 3 Chevrolet team. He failed to make the Chase for the Cup for the first time in four seasons, he posted a lowly six Top-10 finishes, and saw his average finish inflate two spots from 17.5 in 2018 to 19.5 in 2019. It was a tough campaign for Dillon and his Richard Childress Racing team. Some good news is happening in 2020. Dillon will be reunited with his old crew chief, Justin Alexander. Under Alexander's guidance, Dillon drove to a Daytona 500 victory in 2018 and a Coca-Cola 600 win in 2017. He also finished much more consistently in those two campaigns, making the Chase for the Cup playoffs in both instances. Dillon will look to rebound to that form with his old chief this season. Of all the drivers in the middle portion of the rankings, Dillon presents about as much rebound potential as any in the group.
Dillon won for the second-straight season in 2018, and it was a big one. The Richard Childress Racing driver fought off the best in the sport and won last season's Daytona 500. Add that alongside his 2017 victory in the Coca-Cola 600, and Dillon has won two of the more prestigious races of the last two seasons. Still, the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet's Top-10 totals was only modestly better last season with eight total. It's that week-to-week consistency that Dillon at the No. 3 team are desperately searching for at this point. He and crew chief, Justin Alexander, have been together long enough that they're now showing those signs. Dillon had a great stretch run of four Top-10 and seven Top-15 finishes during the Chase. Each week it seemed like the No. 3 Chevrolet was finishing in that seventh- to 11th-place range. That's the kind of late-season momentum we love to see heading into the this season. Dillon could pop big in 2019 and post a career-best season in terms of Top 5s, Top 10s and points finish.
While Dillon grabbed his first-career victory (Charlotte) in 2017, and he made the Chase for the Cup field, it still wasn't the campaign the No. 3 team quite expected. With just four Top-10 finishes, Dillon somehow managed to finish 11th in the final driver standings. That was due in large part to the Chase format and how it rewards wins. From a consistency standpoint, last season failed to measure up in many respects. Dillon will look to hit the reset button in the upcoming season. He'll once again be paired with Justin Alexander as crew chief and the team will look to find more consistency and more Top-10 finishes in the upcoming season. With the series becoming younger and even more competitive, it will be difficult for Dillon to recover the level of performance that he had in 2016.
While the No. 3 RCR team isn't exactly where they'd like to be, they still made some dramatic improvements last season. Dillon posted career-best marks with four Top-5 and 13 Top-10 finishes and he enjoyed his first appearance in the Chase for the Cup. Dillon wound up 14th in the final driver standings, but that will only make him hungrier to push higher in the upcoming season. He and crew chief Slugger Labbe have figured a lot of things out, but still have a way to go before Dillon can be mentioned among the Top 10 drivers in the Monster Energy Cup Series. We expect some marginal improvement from the No. 3 team in 2017, and even perhaps one of the those near-miss flirtations with victory lane could materialize into career-victory No. 1 for Dillon. We expect another berth in the Chase and maybe a couple more Top 10s for Dillon this season.
The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet made some steps in 2015, but barely enough to be discernable from his rookie season. Dillon claimed five top 10s en route to a 21st-place finish in the final driver standings. His 39-laps led were a slight improvement over 2014, but it was his average starting position that really improved. The young RCR driver improved his qualifying to a 17.0 average starting spot. There's good reason to believe Dillon could take some pretty big steps in 2016. Slugger Labbe took over as crew chief mid-season last year, and has earned a three-year extension to stay. With 85 Sprint Cup starts under his belt, Dillon could be ready to make some significant steps in the upcoming season.
Dillon and his RCR No. 3 Chevy team will return for a second season of racing in the Nationwide Series. As a rookie Dillon finished a surprising third in the final driver standings with two victories and 27 Top-10 finishes. The youngster is just getting started. Dillon should up the ante in 2013 and throw his hat in the ring for the championship once again. He will be reunited with crew chief Danny Stockman and primary sponsor Advocare. Given all that Dillon learned in his rookie season, he should be even better in the upcoming season. He’s a prime contender for this year’s Nationwide Series championship.
More Fantasy News
Wins Daytona Duel 2
NASCAR Cup
February 12, 2021
Dillon won the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Thursday night.
ANALYSIS
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Rolex 24 with RWR
NASCAR Cup
December 31, 2020
Former Daytona 500 winner Dillon and GT veteran Salih Yoluc have joined RWR Eurasia's lineup for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, sportscar365.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Tough Night at Las Vegas
NASCAR Cup
September 27, 2020
Dillon struggled and finished 32nd in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday night.
ANALYSIS
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Top-5 Finish at Richmond
NASCAR Cup
September 12, 2020
Dillon finished fourth in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway Saturday night.
ANALYSIS
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Runner-up Finish at Darlington
NASCAR Cup
September 6, 2020
Dillon finished second in the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway Sunday night.
ANALYSIS
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