Austin Dillon

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Austin Dillon
TSM350 2015 - Austin Dillon - 1 - Stierch.jpg
Born (1990-04-27) April 27, 1990 (age 26)
Lewisville, North Carolina
Achievements 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion
2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion
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
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
105 races run over 6 years
Car no., team No. 3 (Richard Childress Racing)
2015 position 21st
Best finish 20th (2014)
First race 2011 Hollywood Casino 400 (Kansas)
Last race 2016 Brickyard 400 (Indianapolis)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 18 2
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
110 races run over 9 years
Car no., team No. 2 (Richard Childress Racing)
2015 position 81st
Best finish 1st (2013)
First race 2008 Emerson Radio 250 (Richmond)
Last race 2016 AutoLotto 200 (Loudon)
First win 2012 Feed the Children 300 (Kentucky)
Last win 2016 TreatMyClot.com 300 (Fontana)
Wins Top tens Poles
7 81 16
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
66 races run over 6 years
2015 position 82nd
Best finish 1st (2011)
First race 2009 Lucas Oil 200 (Iowa)
Last race 2015 Careers for Veterans 200 (Michigan)
First win 2010 Lucas Oil 200 (Iowa)
Last win 2015 UNOH 175 (New Hampshire)
Wins Top tens Poles
7 45 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 July 24, 2016.

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 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also drives the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for RCR in the Xfinity 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 ROTY title in 2012. He holds the record for most consecutive poles in the Nationwide Series with four.

Dillon, who began his NASCAR career in 2008, is the most recent of only three drivers that have won a championship in both the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.[citation needed]

Racing career[edit]

2005: Beginnings[edit]

Dillon began his racing career in the Bandolero mini cars series and the Legend cars series. In 2007, Dillon raced Crate Late Models where he ran 9 races, scored 3 wins, 4 Top Five finishes, and 4 Top Ten finishes. Also in 2007, Dillon won the May All-Star Shootout at The Dirt Track Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 2008, Dillon raced an Open Wheel Modified for 10 races, in which he recorded 2 wins, 6 top-5 and 4 top-10 finishes. Along with racing the open wheel modifieds, Dillon raced in 10 events behind the wheel of a Super Late Model, where he recorded 2 wins, 6 top-5 and 8 top-10 finishes. Dillon raced Crate Models again, where he made five starts, and recorded 2 Wins, 4 Top Five finishes, and 4 Top Ten finishes.

2008: Camping World East Series[edit]

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.[1] In 2008 and 2009, he drove the #2 Chevrolet Impala part-time for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with sponsorship from Chevrolet. His career best finish was 4th at Memphis Motorsports Park in 2008.

2009–2011: Camping World Truck Series[edit]

He made his first Camping World Truck Series start at Iowa Speedway, driving the No. 3 truck. 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 track inspections, thus his time was removed and was not allowed to race. Dillon would drive the No. 3 truck full-time in 2010 for Rookie of the Year, with sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops. Despite crashing out early at Daytona, Dillon got his first career pole at Texas Motor Speedway in June and finished 3rd and led 20 laps. On July 11, 2010, Dillon scored his first career NASCAR victory in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series and won 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.

Dillon would win his record setting 5th pole the most for a rookie in series history. Along with the pole he would lead over 92 laps of 146 to claim his 2nd win of the season at Las Vegas and the second of his career. Dillon was also rookie of the year ending the season with 2 wins 7 top 5s and 16 top 10s.

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 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion. He also won the 2011 CWTS Most Popular Driver Award. In 2012 he moved up to the Nationwide Series full-time, driving the No. 3 for RCR.

2011–present: Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series[edit]

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.[2]

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

Dillon's 2012 Nationwide Series car

Dillon scored top-five finishes in each of the first two races of the 2012 Nationwide Series season.

2012[edit]

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.[2][5]

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.[6] The penalty cost Dillon six points and the championship lead. Dillon won the pole at the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona, but again failed inspection and was stripped of his starting spot. Dillon nearly won the race until a last-lap spin lowered him to fourth.

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.[7]

2013[edit]

Dillon announced in August 2012 that he would continue to drive full-time in the Nationwide Series for 2013, along with running seven Sprint Cup Series races that year, including the 2013 Daytona 500.[8] 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.[9]

Dillon returned to the Truck Series for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, leading a race-high 63 laps,[10] and won after a green-white-checker finish.[11] 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.[12]

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;[13] he would also drive the car at Talladega Superspeedway in October.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

2014[edit]

On December 11, 2013, it was announced by RCR that Dillon will drive the #3 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Cheerios and The Dow Chemical Company as the primary sponsors. It would be the #3 car's first Sprint Cup appearance in 13 years.[17]

During 2014 Daytona 500 qualifying, Dillon clinched the pole position with a speed of 196.019 miles per hour (315.462 km/h).[18] Dillon had a rather fast start to 2014, posting an 9th-place finish in the Daytona 500 and two consecutive 11th-place finishes at Bristol and Fontana.

After a long streak of bad finishes, Dillon rebounded in the 2014 Pocono 400. He qualified 11th and ran in the top ten during the first half of the event. However any chance at a top ten finish or win had ended on lap 106 when Dillon was penalized for changing lanes before the restart. After going down 3 laps, Dillon recovered for 17th. Dillon returned to Daytona, the site of his most notable Daytona 500 pole, with a career best finish of 5th, when the race was shortened due to rain. Dillon then earned another top 10 finish at Indianapolis. Dillon then won his 6th truck race at Pocono, his first win since Eldora. 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.[19]

2015[edit]

Dillon's 2015 Sprint Cup season started with a 14th-place finish in the Daytona 500. At Atlanta, Dillon cut a tire early and finished 39th place. This was followed by a 20th-place finish at Las Vegas, 15th place at Phoenix, and 16th place at Auto Club. At Martinsville, he was involved in an early incident and finished 41st. He rebounded with a 20th-place finish at Texas, and his first top 10 of the year came as a 10th-place finish at Bristol. This was followed by a 27th-place finish at Richmond.

At Talladega, Dillon was running up front when his car caught fire on lap 157, relegating him to a 35th-place finish.

On the heels of his poor finish at Talladega, Dillon took a 22nd-place finish at Kansas, followed by a 15th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. At Dover, he was caught up in a late race crash and finished 33rd. This was followed by a 19th-place finish at Pocono, 20th place at Michigan, and 17th place at Sonoma.

In the summer return to Daytona, Dillon had an up and down weekend. In the Xfinity race, 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, Dillon started on the outside of the front row after qualifying was rained out and the starting lineup was set according to practice speeds. After leading the first eight laps, he faded into the middle of the pack later in the going. 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.[20]

At Kentucky, Dillon finished 25th. He followed this finish with his third top-10 finish of 2015 as an 8th place outing at New Hampshire. At Indianapolis, Dillon finished 24th place. At the second race at Pocono, Dillon finished 13th place. At Watkins Glen, Dillon finished 36th, one lap down.

In the second race at Michigan, Dillon earned a career best 4th-place finish after a change in pit strategy. During the lap 21 competition caution, Dillon's crew chief Slugger Labbe told him to stay out on the track while the leaders pitted. On the next restart, Dillon was running in the first position and was able to stay out front and lead laps 23–40.

At Bristol, Dillon finished 13th. At Darlington, Dillon's No. 3 car wore a special "throwback" scheme as a tribute to a paint scheme once used by his grandfather Richard Childress. In the race, Dillon finished 22nd place.

In the second race at Richmond, Dillon finished 27th. At the Chicagoland race, Dillon was running 10th on lap 198 when he blew a right front tire and finished 43rd. At the second New Hampshire race, he finished 22nd place. He followed this finish with a 23rd place outing at Dover. At the second Charlotte race, Dillon finished 7th, which was his fifth top-10 finish in 2015. At Kansas, Dillon was running in the top 5 when he blew another right front tire and finished 41st.

In the second race at Talladega, Dillon finished 14th, by avoiding the last-lap wreck that took out several race cars from finishing the race. At Martinsville, Dillon finished 18th. 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.[20]

2016[edit]

Dillon started off the year with a solid run in the Daytona 500, finishing 9th. He followed this finish with an 11th place outing in Atlanta. After having an early pit road speeding penalty and going down 2 laps, Dillon managed a 5th-place finish at Las Vegas. At Phoenix, Dillon finished strong with a 9th place outing. He continued his good momentum by winning the pole for the Auto Club 400, his second career pole in the Sprint Cup Series. At Martinsville, Dillon scored a career best 4th place finish, for the second time in his cup career. At Texas, Dillon triggered a late race crash after minor contact with Denny Hamlin, causing a 13 car wreck, relegating him to a 19th place finish. At Bristol, Dillon finished 26th, 2 laps down. He followed this finish with a 20th place outing at Richmond.

At Talladega, Dillon had an up and down day. After starting second, Dillon ran up front for the first half of the event. However, Dillon was involved in a wreck on lap 97 which caused damage to the right front of his car. After going a lap down due to repairs, he got his lap back under the next caution, and remained towards the middle of the pack. On lap 160, Dillon was involved in a second wreck, involving 17 cars, causing more damage to the right front of the car. After this, Dillon nearly went down a lap but made it off pit road just before the leaders beat him to the pit exit line. After 17 total pit stops to repair damage, Dillon restarted towards the back of the pack, and got back into the top 5 after a huge push from Jamie McMurray and made it up to 3rd place which is where he finished; this is Dillon's career best Sprint Cup finish and his third top-5 finish in 2016.

After starting 17th and running in the top 25 for most of the race, Dillon finished in 6th place at Kansas. At Dover, on lap 184, something broke on the right-front of Dillon’s car as he headed into Turn 3. And when it did, Dillon’s RCR Chevy turned hard right into the wall, putting a premature end to his hopes for another strong finish.

At the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, Dillon finished 12th place. At Pocono, Dillon crashed late in the race, relegating him to a 37th-place finish. At Michigan, Dillon was consistent nearly the whole race and earned another top-10 finish as an 8th place outing.

At Sonoma, Dillon got his 12th top-25 finish of 2016 as a 22nd-place outing. At the 2016 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, Dillon started 6th and scored his eighth top-10 finish of 2016 as a 7th place outing. At Kentucky, Dillon scored his 13th top-20 finish of 2016 as a 16th place outing. At New Hampshire, Dillon scored his eleventh top-15 finish of 2016 as a 13th-place outing.

Dillon had a solid run in the 2016 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, finishing 9th.

Personal life[edit]

Dillon is attending High Point University on a part-time basis.[21] Dillon also played in the 2002 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[22]

Dillon is a Christian. He is currently in a steady relationship with Whitney Ward.

Dillon is also the co-chair of the Reagan Foundation's National Youth Leadership Committee.[citation needed]

Dillon also made an appearance in a 2014 Cheerios Protein TV ad.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

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

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2013 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 8 31
2014 1 9
2015 30 14
2016 21 9

Xfinity Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

ARCA Racing Series[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Driver's bio at teamdillonracing.com
  2. ^ a b "Austin Dillon Event Preview: Michigan 400". Richard Childress Racing. June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "American Ethanol to sponsor Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing in 2012". AutoWeek. January 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  5. ^ "American Ethanol Launches Public Awareness Campaign". Hoosier Ag Today. June 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  6. ^ Rookie Dillon's car fails postrace inspection after dominating Nationwide win in Kentucky
  7. ^ "NCATS Montreal 8/18/12 Results". Nascar. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  8. ^ Turnbull, Doug (August 11, 2012). "Dillons’ NASCAR future paved in gold (or black)". WSB Radio. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved 2012-08-11. 
  9. ^ Newton, David (January 11, 2013). "Austin Dillon to drive 51 car at Vegas". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  10. ^ DiZinno, Tony (July 24, 2013). "Austin Dillon wins NASCAR Trucks’ inaugural Mudsummer Classic". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  11. ^ "Austin Dillon wins on dirt at Eldora". Sports Illustrated. July 24, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  12. ^ "Former champ Dillon to drive Truck". Fox Sports. September 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  13. ^ Bromberg, Nick (2013-08-12). "Austin Dillon subbing for Tony Stewart at Michigan". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  14. ^ "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]
  15. ^ Gluck, Jeff (October 20, 2013). "Austin Dillon goes on wild ride in last lap at Talladega". USA Today (McLean, VA). Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  16. ^ Olson, Jeff (November 16, 2013). "Austin Dillon wins Nationwide title in celebrated No. 3". USA Today. 
  17. ^ Racing, RCR (December 11, 2013). "RCR announces lineup for 2014". Richard Childress Racing. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  18. ^ Fryer, Jenna (February 16, 2014). "Austin Dillon puts No. 3 on pole for Daytona 500". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  19. ^ Gluck, Jeff (November 17, 2014). "NASCAR inside the numbers: Sprint Cup's top 30 drivers". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ Haynes, Pam. "HPU's Austin Dillon Races To Another Success In NASCAR World Truck Series". High Point University. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  22. ^ 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[edit]

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.