Good morning and welcome to a fabulous race day! Today Austin Dillon will start from the 19th position on his quest for his first win. With a career day at Dover which saw Austin battle through the field and capitalize when others fell, he advanced to the round of 12 in the Chase.
Austin has an average start of 14th here and an average finish just under 12th in the Cup series. With an average 6th place finish in Xfinity and 17 in truck, he holds a career average of 12th here. With the new package Slugger talked about, we could see the team take a big step forward this weekend.
Dover was an odd race, run very passive aggressive. There was a lot more potential in the car but to ensure advancement into the next round of the Chase, Austin played it safe. This weekend we don’t have to play it safe, quite honestly it’s better to play it aggressively, so I am excited to see what happens.
Being the first race in the round of 12 Austin only has to look at a 3 race season, in that season an average of 15th isn’t going to do it, so he gets to turn it up and take some chances, that also means some more chances on pit road and with strategy. Today’s race may come down to a last second call by any crew chief, so stay on your toes and watch for some short pitting with tires worth their weight in points.
When all the smoke clears I expect Austin to finish 8th today. His history here and the recent equipment updates show me that he can get some speed out of it where he didn’t think he could. Good luck and enjoy the race!