Austin Dillon Daytona 500

Austin Dillon

Points Finish 13th,  1 Win,  2 Top Fives,  8 Top Tens,  24 Top Twenties, 17.5 Average Finish, 18.1 Average Running Position,  23 Laps Led, 71.99 Driver Rating

Strengths:

Austin Dillon’s primary strength is his consistency. He’s not a standout performer at any certain track type, but he’s capable of coming home with a respectable result on most race weekends.

In 2019 I would look for him to be at his best at intermediate tracks, short tracks and Daytona.

Weaknesses:

Road course racing has been a glaring weakness for Austin Dillon. He hasn’t had success at them over his first five seasons as a full-time driver, and I don’t think he’ll start now. Over his 11 starts at road courses he’s yet to finish in the top fifteen.

Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – B

Austin Dillon is a quality performer at intermediate tracks who’s flying below the radar. Closing out the 2018 season his level of performance was quite high on this track type. At these venues from August (Michigan #2) until the conclusion of the season he had a 9.6 average finish, a 13.2 average running position and finished in the top 16 every race. It’s clear his team clicked on something because he had speed consistently.

In 2019 I don’t think he’ll be as competitive as he was when he closed out the 2018 season. On a weekly basis this upcoming season I would look for him to typically be a low-double digits to mid-teens driver.

Flat Track Fantasy Value – B

Austin Dillon is a solid competitor at flat tracks. Last year he had good performances at both the bigger and the smaller flat tracks. He’s probably deserving of a B+, but I don’t think his level of performance will be as high in 2019.

Last year in the Playoffs at the shorter flat tracks he came home with results of 8th (Phoenix) and 6th (Richmond). His other results were 15th (Richmond #1), 17th (Phoenix #1) and 21st (New Hampshire). In 2019 heading into race weekends at shorter flat tracks I would think of him as a mid-teens driver.

At the big flats I like him at Pocono, not as much at Indy. At Pocono in 2018 he had a great season and had results of 12th and 13th. Overall in 4 of the last 5 races at “The Tricky Triangle” he’s finished between 12th to 13th. At Indy last year he finished 22nd. In 4 of his 6 races there he’s finished in the 20’s.

Short Track Fantasy Value – B

Austin Dillon isn’t a bad driver at short tracks. Last year at these venues minus Martinsville he finished in the top 15 every race and had a 12.25 average finish.

Martinsville was a tough track for him in 2018 and he had a pair of 30th place finishes. I wouldn’t read into those two results too much because he had problems in both events. In the fall he was a top ten contender until he had problems. In the four Martinsville races prior to 2018 he had a 9.8 average finish and a 14.3 average running position.

At Bristol he finished in the teens twice last year and had results of 13th and 15th. Over his last three incident free races he’s finished within that range.

Richmond has historically been his worst short track, but last year its the short track where he had the most success. He finished 6th in the fall and 15th in the spring. In 7 of the 8 Martinsville races prior to last year he finished 20th or worse.

Plate Track Fantasy Value – B

Austin Dillon will probably be pretty high on most people’s fantasy NASCAR radar in 2019 at plate tracks after winning the Daytona 500. On this track type I’ll note he’s been much better at Daytona.

At Daytona last year he raced his way to victory lane in the “Great American Race” and finished 9th in the summer. In 5 of the last 7 Daytona races he’s finished in the top ten.

At Talladega his level of success hasn’t been as a high and other than 2016 he’s never had a top ten. Last fall he finished 17th. In the three races prior to that he had a DNF and finished 29th or worse.

Road Course Fantasy Value – C+

Road courses aren’t places of great success for Austin Dillon. In 2019 at these venues I think he’ll be a high-teens to low-twenties driver.

Sonoma has been his best road course. In 4 of his 5 races there he’s finished between 16th to 18th. Last year he finished 16th.

Watkins Glen has been brutal to him and over the last four races he’s finished 27th or worse. Last year he finished 27th.

Last season when the Charlotte Road Course made its debut he had a tough afternoon and finished 39th after wrecking.