We may not be far into the 2019 season; however, it has been an interesting one for Austin Dillon.
His No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team has shown signs of strength, with four top-10 starting spots, which included a pole at Auto Club Speedway. He has also been able to maintain that track position, by running towards the front during the races.
However, despite what seems like an improvement in performance, Dillon has lacked the ability to finish the race just as strong, with one top-10 finish through the first eight event.
With all of this in mind, it is hard to justify whether or not his current 18th-place standings in points is indicative or not of how this team is going to be this year.
It is not just Dillon having these problems though, as it seems like the entire Chevrolet camp has been on an odd stretch. Through eight races, none of their drivers winning a race so far.
Despite their lack of success, Dillon believes his team, as well as the manufacture, are heading in the right direction.
“We feel like the Chevrolets are in a better spot than we were last year. We’ve had speed in our camp, at RCR and ECR in a lot of the qualifying sessions, but we haven’t been able to turn it into finishing results that we’d like,” Dillon said. “Some of the Hendrick cars had some good speed last week. That’s good to see. And, Kurt Busch has also been pretty good all year. So, it’s moving in the right direction. I hope that we can continue the same path that we’re on and keep building on it. But, every week seems to be a different challenge, so we’re still progressing.”
While he believes there has been progress made, Dillon acknowledges that there are still improvements to be made moving forward.
“For me, we’re not where we need to be. We’re headed in the right direction. I do feel like we made steps this off-season. It’s cool to see some of the processes that were going forward, but we definitely can improve I feel like,” Dillon said. “There’s still improvement there and we need to see what other people are doing and do it better. That’s what this garage is all about is to see and look at it and try and recreate it and make it better. And, I’m proud of the effort that we’re putting in and bringing to the track. I think we’re halfway there. We’ve got still another half to get to where Chevy is winning and winning consistently like some of the other manufacturers are doing right now.”
The good news for Dillon is the upcoming schedule may prove to be towards his liking. Richmond Raceway and Dover International Speedway are both tracks where he had top-10’s last year, and Talladega Superspeedway is a place where the No. 3 is used to running towards the front.
These races may also serve as statement events for him and his team. Dillon has proven he can run towards the front; now it is a matter of showing they can finish there too.
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