Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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18. Austin Dillon

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Looking back on Austin Dillon’s 2017 season, it is difficult to see any patterns that emerged. He failed to record back-to-back top-10s a single time and rarely sustained long streaks of top-15s until the very end of the year. And by then, fantasy players may have soured on him somewhat. Dillon came close to securing a small top-10 streak when he finished seventh at Michigan International Speedway in August and fourth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. A crash at Bristol Motor Speedway in between those events spoiled his momentum.

Dillon’s highlight for the season was a career-first victory, which came in one of the biggest races of the year. He stretched his fuel in the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and outlasted the competition to secure a spot in the playoffs. Lest one thing that momentum is not worth a lot, his next two efforts ended in top-15s, giving him his first three-race streak of the season. Unfortunately, it ended there and he had only one more top-15 in the next eight.

The 2017 season was top heavy. With drivers like Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Kyle Larson running away with the majority of top-fives and top earnings in fantasy NASCAR, it was difficult to know how to fill out the remainder of the roster. That made Dillon’s occasional strong runs profitable, but also a little frustrating. It’s hard to handicap a driver with that many ups and downs.

The big opportunity to start Dillon came at the very end of the season. Already eliminated from the playoffs, Dillon finished 14th and on the lead lap at Kansas Speedway in October. He ran the table in the final five races of the season by going the scheduled distance each time and finishing in the top 15. Additionally, his last four races ended better than they started; he added as many as 12 place-differential points to his tally at Martinsville Speedway.

The question now turns to how he will fare in 2018. Unfortunately, the answer is not clear.

Richard Childress Racing is in the middle of transformative years and there are only so many spots at the head of the field and so many resources in terms of talent. The reduction to two cars in 2018 will help focus those resources to Dillon and teammate Ryan Newman, but it is going to take a little while for fantasy players to evaluate what that impact will be. 

Victories: Charlotte (Summer)
2017 Average Finish: 18.58
Top-fives: 3 (.083)
Top-10s: 4 (.111)
Top-15s: 14 (.389)

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Homestead - Miami Speedway

12.33

15.50

4

 

 

11

 

Darlington Raceway

12.67

12.25

4

1

1

4

 

Michigan International Speedway

13.67

16.64

11

1

3

27

7

Charlotte Motor Speedway

14.00

14.13

8

1

2

1

16

Daytona International Speedway

15.33

15.22

9

1

5

19

36

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

15.50

14.75

8

 

1

15

19

Martinsville Speedway

16.33

15.63

8

2

2

5

13

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

16.67

17.40

5

1

1

25

 

Auto Club Speedway

17.00

15.50

4

 

 

11

 

Kansas Speedway

17.50

17.56

9

 

3

16

14

Bristol Motor Speedway

17.50

18.00

8

1

2

13

39

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

18.33

18.20

5

 

2

21

 

Sonoma Raceway

19.00

18.50

4

 

 

18

 

Phoenix International Raceway

19.17

22.13

8

 

1

18

14

Pocono Raceway

19.33

18.50

8

 

 

13

21

Kentucky Speedway

20.00

20.00

5

 

 

19

 

Dover Downs International

20.83

21.78

9

 

1

12

16

Talladega SuperSpeedway

21.00

20.00

9

1

2

36

29

Richmond International Raceway

21.33

21.88

8

 

 

20

21

Texas Motor Speedway

22.17

23.00

10

 

 

33

13

Chicagoland Speedway

24.33

22.25

4

 

 

16

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway

27.33

25.00

5

 

 

32

 

Watkins Glen International

31.00

27.25

4

 

 

26

 

 

19. Stenhouse Jr., Ricky 
20. Menard, Paul 
21. Bayne, Trevor 
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ 
25. Kahne, Kasey

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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