Ty Dillon completed his third full season in the XFINITY Series in 2016 with Richard Childress Racing. Next year, he’ll be racing full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Germain Racing.
Car No.: 3
Crew Chief: Nick Harrison
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Points Finish: 5th
2016 Quick Summary: Dillon’s only pole of the year came in the season opener at Daytona, but he only led two laps and finished 13th. He led a career-high 212 laps throughout the season, but 2016 was a bit of a step backward for the 24-year-old, despite driving in 12 races on the Cup side. He had fewer top 10s than he did the previous two years (24 total in 2014, 25 in 2015,) three less top fives than last season, and failed to win a race for a second consecutive year. Dillon made the Chase but was eliminated after the opening Round of 12.
2016 Highlight(s): Dillon’s best performance of the season came at Iowa Speedway in late July, where he led 83 laps and finished second. It was one of five runner-up finishes — the others coming in the spring races at Iowa and Richmond International Raceway, the fall race at Dover International Speedway, and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
2016 Lowlight(s): An early exit from the Chase was as shocking as it was emotional for Dillon. He missed advancement to the Round of 8 by one point behind Roush Fenway Racing’s Darrell Wallace Jr. after the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dillon said his team had Championship 4 potential but was unable to rebound in the playoffs after a crash at Kentucky Speedway two weeks earlier.
“It’s heartbreaking,” an upset Dillon said after the Charlotte race. “… I’ve wanted this championship so bad every year I’ve ran the XFINITY Series. Just, it hurts.”
2017 Outlook: Dillon will drive the No. 13 for the RCR-affiliated Germain organization. He’s replacing Casey Mears — who has raced for the single-car team since mid-2010 — and will be competing for the Cup Series’ Rookie of the Year honors.
Mears posted one top five and five top 10s in 180 starts with Germain. The team’s ranking in the series marks a good spot for Dillon to continue to get his feet wet in NASCAR’s top-tier division. If he earns top-15 finishes throughout the year, he’ll be stepping in the right direction.
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