In 2017 Ty Dillon will take over the #13 car and replace Casey Mears. Ty Dillon is entering NASCAR’s top series with lots of experience having competed in the Truck Series, Xfinity Series and having 18 Cup starts under his belt.
The biggest question regarding Ty Dillon that will have a big impact on his fantasy value is how good is the #13 car? They’ll have increased support from RCR but Casey Mears just finished 28th in the standings having zero top tens, and just 6 top twenties for the season.
Assuming they’ll be marginally better it’s still hard to see Ty Dillon being competitive. In NASCAR’s lower divisions he was often in superior equipment and rarely was he able to take advantage of the situation. He’ll now essentially be in mid-pack equipment and be competing against the top drivers in NASCAR. I don’t think that’s a good combination.
Strengths – In 2017 I would look for Ty Dillon to be at his best at plate tracks and short tracks (attrition rate will help him).
Weaknesses – I think intermediate tracks will likely prove to be a key weakness for him. They make up the core of the schedule and he hasn’t done anything to instill confidence that he’ll be competitive on that track type.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Medium
Intermediate tracks likely won’t be a strength for Ty Dillon. Last year in NASCAR’s top series he had plenty of seat time at these venues and his results weren’t good. On this track type minus Homestead where he crashed he had a 22.6 average finish.
When he drove the #14 car he had results of 17th and 20th. I think those two results are notable because the #14 car is superior to what he’ll be driving this upcoming season.
I think his car in 2017 will be about on par with the #95 (McDowell’s), when he drove that car last year he had results of 24th and 25th.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – Medium
In NASCAR’s top series Ty Dillon has four starts under his belt on this track type and has a 20.25 average finish.
Last year on this track type he competed in two races. He finished 15th in the 14 car at Phoenix, and 21st at Pocono in the #95 car.
In 2017 at all flat tracks I think he’ll likely be a high-teens to mid-twenties driver.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Medium High
I think Ty Dillon has a “driver survivor” intangible and that will allow him to sneak into a few good results on this track type in 2017. From a performance perspective I think he’ll likely typically be a high-teens to low-twenties driver at best.
In NASCAR’s top series he only has one start under his belt on this track type. Last spring at Bristol he finished 25th. In the Xfinity Series he had results of 7th and 25th last season.
At Martinsville in the Truck Series he finished 2nd in spring 2012 but other than that his track record is pretty bad there. That makes it hard to be high on his fantasy value there.
At Richmond he has no NASCAR top series starts under his belt. Phoenix is the most similar track and last spring in the #14 he finished 15th there. Last year in the Xfinity Series he had results of 2nd and 6th.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – Medium High
If you’re looking to pick Ty Dillon, I would recommend picking him at a plate track. RCR makes good cars for this track type and you know Ty Dillon will be supplied with a good car. Also the draft is the great equalizer and it will put him more on par with the competition.
Last spring at Talladega he drove the #14 after Tony Stewart climbed out of his car and finished 6th. That’s also his only seat time he’s had in NASCAR’s top series at that venue. In 2016 in the lower series he finished 19th there.
At Daytona he had two starts under his belt and has results of 25th and 28th. Last year in the lower series at that venue he had results of 13th and 14th.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – Medium
Ty Dillon doesn’t strike me as a driver who’ll be that successful against NASCAR’s best competition at road courses. In the top series he’s never competed on this track type. In the Xfinity Series on this track type in 2016 he had results of 8th, 11th and 12th. In NASCAR’s top series I don’t think that track record will translate into any level of notable success.