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Austin Dillon

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Austin Dillon
TSM350 2015 - Austin Dillon - 1 - Stierch.jpg
Dillon at Sonoma Raceway in 2015
Born (1990-04-27) April 27, 1990 (age 27)
Lewisville, North Carolina
Achievements 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion
2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
2014 Daytona 500 pole winner 2017 Coca-Cola 600 Winner
Awards 2008 K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year
2010 Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year
2011 Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver
2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
133 races run over 7 years
Car no., team No. 3 (Richard Childress Racing)
2016 position 14th
Best finish 14th (2016)
First race 2011 Hollywood Casino 400 (Kansas)
Last race 2017 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte)
First win 2017 Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 24 3
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
125 races run over 10 years
Car no., team No. 2 (Richard Childress Racing)
2016 position 86th
Best finish 1st (2013)
First race 2008 Emerson Radio 250 (Richmond)
Last race 2017 Hisense 4K TV 300 (Charlotte)
First win 2012 Feed the Children 300 (Kentucky)
Last win 2016 Food City 300 (Bristol)
Wins Top tens Poles
8 92 17
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
68 races run over 8 years
Truck no., team No. 99 (MDM Motorsports)
2016 position 87th
Best finish 1st (2011)
First race 2009 Lucas Oil 200 (Iowa)
Last race 2017 Active Pest Control 200 (Atlanta)
First win 2010 Lucas Oil 200 (Iowa)
Last win 2015 UNOH 175 (New Hampshire)
Wins Top tens Poles
7 47 13
NASCAR Pinty's Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish 45th (2012)
First race 2012 NAPA Autopro 100 (Montreal)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
Statistics current as of May 28, 2017.

Austin Dillon (born April 27, 1990) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He is the son of former driver and RCR general manager Mike Dillon, brother of Ty Dillon and grandson of Richard Childress. He currently drives the No. 3 Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He also drives the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for RCR in the Xfinity Series on a part-time basis. He also drives the No. 99 Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series on a part-time basis.

After winning rookie of the year in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010, Dillon won the Truck Series championship in 2011, and later the Nationwide Series championship in 2013, also one year after his NASCAR Rookie of the Year title in 2012. He holds the record for most consecutive poles in the Nationwide Series with four.

Racing career

2005–2007: Beginnings

Dillon began his racing career in the Bandolero Mini Cars series and the Legend Cars Series. A year later, he started dirt track racing at dirt late model racer Dale McDowell's school.[1]

2008: Camping World East Series

Dillon was the 2008 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World East Series after one win at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, one pole and ten top-10s in 13 races.[2]

2009–2011: Camping World Truck Series

He made his first Camping World Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, driving the No. 3 truck.[3] This was the first time that the No. 3 had appeared in any of the three major series since Dale Earnhardt Jr. used it in the Busch Series back in 2002. Dillon was supposed to start the Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway during the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, but the truck failed inspection, thus his time was removed and he was not allowed to race.[4] Dillon would drive the No. 3 truck full-time in 2010 for Rookie of the Year, with sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops.[5] Despite crashing out early at Daytona, Dillon got his first career pole at Texas Motor Speedway in June and finished third, leading 20 laps. On July 11, Dillon scored his first career NASCAR victory in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway, winning a Truck Series race in a truck wearing the No. 3 for the first time since Bryan Reffner won for Team Menard in 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.[citation needed] He ended the season with two wins and seven poles, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.[6]

In 2011, Dillon scored his first win of the year at Nashville Superspeedway. Dillon scored his second win of 2011 at Chicagoland Speedway, beating Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. After rain shortened the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dillon was crowned the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion.[7] He also won the 2011 CWTS Most Popular Driver Award.[8] In 2012 he moved up to the Nationwide Series full-time, driving the No. 3 Chevrolet for RCR.

2011–present: Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series

Dillon made his first career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on October 9, 2011, in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. He finished 26th in his No. 98 Camping World Curb/Agajanian Racing Chevrolet Impala.[9]

On November 4, 2011, Richard Childress Racing announced that Dillon would be moving up to the Nationwide Series in 2012, driving the No. 3 that Dale Earnhardt made famous, with sponsorship from AdvoCare, American Ethanol, and Bass Pro Shops.[10][11]

2012

Dillon's 2012 Nationwide Series car

Dillon competed in the Sprint Cup Series on a limited basis in 2012, starting at Michigan International Speedway in June, driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, starting 21st and finishing 24th.[9][12]

On June 29, 2012, Dillon recorded his first Nationwide Series win at Kentucky Speedway; he dominated the race by leading all but 8 laps and won by over 9.8 seconds over second place. However, NASCAR officials announced the car had failed post-race inspection because the rear ride heights were too low.[13]

Dillon also participated in one race in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Circuit Gilles-Villeuneuve in Montreal in August 2012. Dillon finished 7th while driving the No. 4 car for Fitzpatrick Motorsports.[14]

2013

Dillon announced in August 2012 that he would continue to drive full-time in the Nationwide Series for 2013, with Advocare as the primary sponsor for the full season, along with running seven Sprint Cup Series races that year, including the 2013 Daytona 500, where he qualified 8th, but crashed late in the race, relegating him to a 31st-place finish.[15] In January 2013 it was announced that some of Dillon's Sprint Cup races that season would be in Phoenix Racing's No. 51 Chevrolet.[16]

Dillon returned to the Truck Series for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, leading a race-high 63 laps,[17] and won after a green-white-checker finish.[18] The truck, the trophy and the famed piece of dirt track are on display at NASCAR Hall of Fame. Later in the year Dillon substituted for the ailing Brennan Newberry in the Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.[19]

2013 championship car

In early August 2013, it was announced that Dillon would substitute for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at Michigan due to Stewart's leg injury;[20] he would also drive the car at Talladega Superspeedway in October.[21] In Dillon's run at Talladega, he performed well during the event, and was running in the top five for most of the day; at the white flag, Dillon was third behind Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and was about to give Earnhardt Jr. a push for an attempt to make a winning pass when he was turned by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., slammed the backstretch wall, then was sent airborne when struck head-on by Casey Mears.[22]

On November 16, 2013, Dillon won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship with a 12th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dillon's series championship was unusual because he did not win any races during the season; this marked the first time in any of NASCAR's three national series that a season champion went winless.[23]

2014

On December 11, 2013, it was announced by RCR that Dillon will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Cheerios and The Dow Chemical Company as the primary sponsors. It would be the No. 3 car's first Sprint Cup appearance in 13 years.[24]

During 2014 Daytona 500 qualifying, Dillon clinched the pole position with a speed of 196.019 miles per hour (315.462 km/h).[25]

After a long streak of bad finishes, Dillon rebounded in the 2014 Pocono 400. Dillon ended the 2014 Cup season as one of only two drivers to have been running at the finish of every race during the season, the other being Jeff Gordon. He finished second in the rookie of the year standings to Kyle Larson.[26]

2015

In the Xfinity race at Daytona, he won after the dominant car of Brian Scott crashed out of the race late in the going. In the Coke Zero 400 on July 5, coming to the checkered flag, Dillon was hit in the left front tire by the spinning car of Denny Hamlin, causing him to flip into the catchfence over two rows of cars. Dillon climbed out of the car unharmed, save for a bruised tailbone and a bruise on his forearm, but five fans were injured by flying debris. Dillon was credited with a seventh-place finish.[27]

In the second race at Talladega, Dillon drove a special WeatherTech paint scheme and finished 14th place, by avoiding the last-lap wreck that took out several race cars from finishing the race. At Martinsville, Dillon drove a special Dow Plastic Additives paint scheme and finished 18th place. At Texas, Dillon finished strong with an 11th place outing. At the second Phoenix race, Dillon finished 20th, one lap down. At Homestead, Dillon started 10th and finished 14th. Dillon finished 21st in the 2015 Sprint Cup standings.[27]

2016

Dillon competed part-time in the Xfinity Series in 2016, splitting the No. 2 of RCR with six other drivers.[28] On the final lap of the Xfinity race in Fontana, Dillon battled with Kyle Busch, whose car had cut a left front tire, the two making contact as they approached the finish. Dillon's car hit the turn four wall but was able to hang on for the win.[29]

In the Cup Series, Dillon won two Poles, the first coming at Auto Club and the second coming at the second Texas race. At the first Talladega Cup race, Dillon scored a career-best 3rd place finish after getting caught up in two big crashes. He then also qualified for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup; though he advanced out of the Round of 16,[30] he was eliminated in the following round.[31]

2017

Dillon opened the season with a fifth-place finish in his Can-Am Duel, where he pushed Denny Hamlin past the dominant car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the race.[32] During an Xfinity Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, Dillon was parked by NASCAR for wrecking rookie Cole Custer under caution after Custer slid in to Dillon earlier in the race. After being parked, Dillon was not the target of any more penalties. [33] When NASCAR returned to Martinsville for the first time in 2017, Dillon scored a season-best 5th place outing. This is his first top-5 and top-10 finish of 2017. At Texas, Dillon was unable to start the Cup race on the lead lap due to a broken track bar that put him 11 laps down. He finished 33rd. After the Kansas race, his crew-chief Slugger Labbe mutually separated from RCR. Justin Alexander became the new crew-chief started his role at the Open.

After struggling early on in the Coca-Cola 600, Dillon would finally earn his first career Cup Series win after passing Jimmie Johnson, who ran out of fuel on lap 399 and held off Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.. It was the first win for a No. 3 car in Cup since October 17, 2000 when Dale Earnhardt won at Talladega.[34]

Personal life

Dillon got engaged to former NFL cheerleader, Whitney Ward, on August 9, 2016. Dillon attended High Point University on a part-time basis.[35] Dillon also played in the 2002 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[36]

Motorsports career results

NASCAR

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Monster Energy Cup Series

Daytona 500
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2013 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 8 31
2014 1 9
2015 30 14
2016 21 9
2017 10 19

Xfinity Series

Camping World Truck Series

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

ARCA Racing Series

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

See also

References

  1. ^ "19-Year-Old Austin Dillon Among Four Drivers with NASCAR Ties Slated to Compete in the Oct. 14 World of Outlaws Topless Showdown". Charlotte Motor Speedway. October 9, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Driver's bio at teamdillonracing.com
  3. ^ "Dillon To Drive RCR Truck At Iowa". Racin' Today. September 1, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ Demmons, Doug (October 30, 2009). "Colin Braun wins the pole for Truck Series race at Talladega". The Birmingham News. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Bass Pro Shops to Continue Heritage with Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program". Bass Pro Shops. April 8, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2016. A longtime motorsports supporter, Bass Pro Shops' association with Dillon dates back to 2010, when the company partnered with RCR for Dillon's first foray into fulltime NASCAR competition with sponsorship of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 
  6. ^ James, Brant (February 7, 2011). "Austin Dillon looks to build on rookie success in Truck Series". USA Today. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ Demmons, Doug (November 18, 2011). "Austin Dillon wins 2011 NASCAR Truck Series championship in rain-shortened race". The Birmingham News. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "IT'S VOTING SEASON FOR MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARD". NASCAR. October 7, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. Other notable Most Popular Driver Award winners include Greg Biffle (2000), Austin Dillon (2011), Ty Dillon (2013) and Ryan Blaney (2014). 
  9. ^ a b "Austin Dillon Event Preview: Michigan 400". Richard Childress Racing. June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  10. ^ Bromberg, Nick (November 4, 2011). "Austin Dillon to drive No. 3 in Nationwide Series in 2012". From the Marbles. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  11. ^ "American Ethanol to sponsor Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing in 2012". AutoWeek. January 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  12. ^ "American Ethanol Launches Public Awareness Campaign". Hoosier Ag Today. June 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  13. ^ Rookie Dillon's car fails postrace inspection after dominating Nationwide win in Kentucky
  14. ^ "NCATS Montreal 8/18/12 Results". Nascar. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  15. ^ Turnbull, Doug (August 11, 2012). "Dillons’ NASCAR future paved in gold (or black)". WSB Radio. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  16. ^ Newton, David (January 11, 2013). "Austin Dillon to drive 51 car at Vegas". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  17. ^ DiZinno, Tony (July 24, 2013). "Austin Dillon wins NASCAR Trucks’ inaugural Mudsummer Classic". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  18. ^ "Austin Dillon wins on dirt at Eldora". Sports Illustrated. July 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  19. ^ "Former champ Dillon to drive Truck". Fox Sports. September 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  20. ^ Bromberg, Nick (2013-08-12). "Austin Dillon subbing for Tony Stewart at Michigan". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  21. ^ "Tony Stewart to miss rest of season because of broken bones in his leg". Washington Post. Washington, DC. August 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-19. [dead link]
  22. ^ Gluck, Jeff (October 20, 2013). "Austin Dillon goes on wild ride in last lap at Talladega". USA Today. McLean, VA. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  23. ^ Olson, Jeff (November 16, 2013). "Austin Dillon wins Nationwide title in celebrated No. 3". USA Today. 
  24. ^ Racing, RCR (December 11, 2013). "RCR announces lineup for 2014". Richard Childress Racing. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ Fryer, Jenna (February 16, 2014). "Austin Dillon puts No. 3 on pole for Daytona 500". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  26. ^ Gluck, Jeff (November 17, 2014). "NASCAR inside the numbers: Sprint Cup's top 30 drivers". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b Jensen, Tom (December 9, 2015). "Austin Dillon's 2015 Sprint Cup Series year in review: One solitary incident will forever define Austin Dillon's 2015 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  28. ^ "2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Team Chart". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  29. ^ Peltz, Josh (March 19, 2016). "Austin Dillon wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Fontana". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  30. ^ Bruce, Kenny (October 2, 2016). "DILLON ON CHASE ADVANCEMENT: 'MAN, WE GOT IT DONE'". NASCAR. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Keselowski, Truex Jr., Elliott, Dillon eliminated from Chase at Talladega". USA Today. October 23, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  32. ^ Jensen, Tom (February 23, 2017). "Dillon pushes Hamlin’s Toyota to victory in Can-Am Duel". Foxsports.com. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Jayski: Austin Dillon will face no further penalties for XFINITY race incident". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-03-20. 
  34. ^ Ryan, Nate (May 29, 2017). "Austin Dillon returns No. 3 to victory lane for first time since Dale Earnhardt’s last win". NBC Sports. NBC Universal. Retrieved May 29, 2017. 
  35. ^ Haynes, Pam. "HPU's Austin Dillon Races To Another Success In NASCAR World Truck Series". High Point University. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  36. ^ Pockrass, Bob (2013-08-16). "Austin Dillon used to pressure after playing in Little League World Series". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
2013
Succeeded by
Chase Elliott
Preceded by
Todd Bodine
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion
2011
Succeeded by
James Buescher
Achievements
Preceded by
Timmy Hill
NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year
2012
Succeeded by
Kyle Larson
Preceded by
Johnny Sauter
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year
2010
Succeeded by
Joey Coulter
Awards
Preceded by
Narain Karthikeyan
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver
2011
Succeeded by
Nelson Piquet Jr.