22 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Austin Dillon

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

11th Place – Austin Dillon – 2277 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

2.11 Difference – Austin Dillon missed the 23rd race of the season (Daytona Road Course) when he contracted COVID-19.  However, his stats after returning seem to show that he was no worse for wear.  Dillon’s average finish before contracting COVID was 16.95, but after he returned he improved that average by 2.11 places (14.84).

 

3rd Career Win – In a surprising turn of events, Austin Dillon finished the first Texas Race of 2020 at the front of the pack, giving him his 3rd career win.  Teammate Tyler Reddick finished just 0.149 seconds behind him, meaning RCR’s two drivers finished 1-2, a feat that is rare with a team like RCR.  Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing were the only other teams to do this in 2020, with JGR managing it 4 times (including a 1-2-3 finish at Dover 1). 

 

3 Drivers Leapfrogged – Austin Dillon was a beneficiary of the NASCAR Points System playing favorites with race winners.  Without his win at Texas 1 guaranteeing him a spot in the playoffs, he would have finished behind 3 other drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones & teammate Tyler Reddick). 

 

5 Playoff Points – Playoff points are earned for winning a race (5 pts) or winning a stage (1 pt).  Austin Dillon finished the season with only 5 playoff points, and one race win, meaning he didn’t win a single stage.  Notable drivers who finished beneath him in the standings, but had more than one stage win: Teammate Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and brother Ty Dillon.

 

16.5 Average Running Position – Austin Dillon’s Average Running Position for the 2020 season ranked 2nd worst of all the playoff drivers (Cole Custer’s was the worst at 18.6).  However, due to a respectable run during the Round of 16, finishing 2nd, 4th, and 12th, he earned his way into the next round, surpassing expectations.

 

Austin Dillon will hope to find his way back to the Winner’s Circle when he returns to the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet in 2021.

 

Coming up in two days – Kurt Busch

 

Follow us on Twitter @StatChat_RR