Michigan was not the race we anticipated for the famed number 3. A finish of just 16th left the whole team disappointed, a track we thought would be THE track to get the first win. Pack it up, bring ‘er home and tear it down. As Slugger would say, lets rerack.
The Lady in Black calls once again. She doesn’t call often, but when she does, everyone gets excited. Just 1.4 miles of mean as can be asphalt. You can change her and you can plan for her, some say you can tame her, though it’s more likely that she lets you off easy. Her big end completely different from her little end, both leaving you holding on white knuckle tight.
Dale Earnhardt took the old 3 car to Victory Lane eight times in his history, that was when NASCAR visited her twice a year. Now home to the annual “throwback” race on Labor Day weekend, Austin Dillon looks to take her trophy home. If he stays patient with her and ignores the field, she might just let him.
In the Xfinity series Austin has an 8th place average, in Sprint Cup series action, he has a 17th place average. This combines for a 13th place career finish. After Michigan, Austin averages 3 spots above his Cup average. As I predicted earlier this week on Twitter, 10th place is the projection.
Austin likes tracks that are driver tracks. Auto Club Speedway, Bristol; just two tracks where he has won this year in the Xfinity series. Darlington is a track that has always lent itself to patient drivers who don’t abuse their car. The long standing key to the race, race the racetrack, don’t race the competition.
If you start pinballing with the competition you’ll mess up your car, burn up your tires, bend the car into something you can’t drive. So, stay patient, be smart, take care of your stuff. Austin has always been good at this so I would expect a top 10 easily enough.