AUSTIN DILLON (RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING) CHEVY
2023 DRIVER FANTASY POINTS: 27th
2024 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 23th
* The 2024 ranking are based on the driver’s projected points scored for the 2024 season and not his predicted finish in the Cup Series standings. The rankings are based on the driver’s performance last year, momentum heading into the 2024 season and the strength of the driver’s team.
2023 RECAP: Austin Dillon has now been in the Cup Series for 10 full-time seasons. The 2023 season was his worst. Dillon had an average starting position of 20th and an average finishing position of 21.8. He scored the 27th-most fantasy points and finished 29th in the Cup Series Point Standings. His teammate (Kyle Busch) won three races, finished 17 races in the top-10, scored the13th-most fantasy points and finished 14th in the Cup Series Points Standings. So, is there that much of a speed gap between the two Richard Childress Racing cars, or is the gap that big between the talents of the two drivers? I think we all know the answer to that question. I doubt the team will ever make a driver change, but it is tough to see the No. 3 car struggle when we know a driver change would make the car more competitive.
2024 PREVIEW: Despite Austin Dillon’s struggles in 2023, I still have him ranked 23rd in my driver rankings. Dillon finished 11th in the Cup Series Points Standings in 2020 and in 2022. Richard Childress Racing is too good to run outside the top-20 again in 2024, right? I think so.
Everything will be the same with the No. 3 team in 2024. Keith Rodden will be the crew chief and Bass Pro Shops will be the primary sponsor. The Fords and Toyota’s will have a new chassis in 2024. The Chevy’s will have the same car, so they have notes from last year, while the other two manufacturers try to figure out their new cars. That could give the Chevy’s a speed advantage early in the season and add to Dillon’s fantasy value in this year.
SUPERSPEEDWAY VALUE (DAYTONA, TALLADEGA, ATLANTA)
One of the myths in Fantasy NASCAR is that Austin Dillon is a good pick at the Superspeedways. Dillon only has four wins in 10 years, but two of them came at Daytona. The truth is that Dillon is more of a boom or bust driver at the Superspeedways; than he is a driver you can have confidence using in your Fantasy NASCAR lineups.
Austin Dillon finished 33rd in both races at Daytona last year. Dillon finished 33rd and 38th at Talladega and he finished 20th and 21st at Atlanta. That is an average finishing position of 29.6. Dillon averaged 9.2 Fantasy Live points and 3.8 DraftKings Points in DFS Contests at the Superspeedways. There are better choices for your Fantasy NASCAR lineups at the Superspeedways in 2024.
(Austin Dillon ranked 27th in fantasy points scored on the Superspeedways last year with an average finishing position of 29.8)
SHORT-FLAT TRACK VALUE (PHOENIX, RICHMOND, MARTINSVILLE, GATEWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, IOWA)
Some of the best races for Austin Dillon last year were on the short, flat tracks. He finished 9th at Richmond, 9th at New Hampshire, 12th at Phoenix and 12th at Martinsville. Richmond ranks as one of the best tracks for Dillon. He has an average finishing position of 12.1 in his last seven races at the track. There are better drivers to use at Richmond in your season-long leagues, but Dillon could be a good value pick in DFS lineups if his price is cheap enough.
The only other short, flat track where Austin Dillon will have fantasy value is at Martinsville. You need to make sure you use Dillon in the spring and fade him in the October race at the track. Dillon has finished 3rd and 12th in the Next-Gen car in the April races at Martinsville. He has finished 33rd and 23rd in the October races at the track. Dillon will be worth a look for your season-long and DFS lineups in the spring race at Martinsville. I would fade him at Phoenix, New Hampshire, Gateway and Iowa.
(Austin Dillon ranked 16th in fantasy points scored on the short-flat tracks last year with an average finishing position of 17.1)
HIGH-BANKED TRACK VALUE (BRISTOL, DOVER)
Who knew that Austin Dillon would be one of the best drivers on the dirt at Bristol? His 3rd-place finish on the dirt at Bristol was his best race in 2023. Unfortunately for Dillon, NASCAR will no longer race on the dirt at Bristol.
So how does Austin Dillon perform on the concrete at Bristol and Dover? He is not very good. Dillon finished 17th and 31st in the two races at Bristol in the Next-Gen car. He finished 23rd and 27th in the two races at the Monster Mile. There are better choices for your season-long leagues at Bristol and Dover. We need drivers who can lead laps in our DFS Contests at these two tracks. Dillon has only led laps in one of his 36 races at Bristol and Dover. That is not very good.
(Austin Dillon ranked 26th in fantasy points scored on the high-banked tracks last year with an average finishing position of 22.4)
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE (COTA, SONOMA, WATKINS GLEN, CHICAGO STREET, CHARLOTTE ROVAL)
Austin Dillon is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think of road course racing and he shouldn’t be. Dillon finished 33rd at COTA, 19th at Sonoma, 36th at Chicago, 16th at the Indy Road Course, 31st at Watkins Glen and 14th at the Charlotte Roval. Dillon averaged 14.7 Fantasy Live points and 13.6 DraftKings points on the road courses last year. That is not enough to win you the week in your season-long leagues and it will not win you any cash in DFS Contests. There are better drivers to use (AJ Allmendinger, Shane Van Gisbergen) at the road courses in 2024.
(Austin Dillon ranked 23rd in fantasy points scored on the road courses last year with an average finishing position of 26.6)
HIGH TIRE WEAR TRACK VALUE (AUTO CLUB, DARLINGTON, MICHIGAN, HOMESTEAD)
Austin Dillon has been hit or miss on the high tire wear tracks in his career and last year was no different. Dillon finished 9th at Auto Club and 10th at Homestead. He also finished 35th at Darlington. The best high tire wear track for Dillon is Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dillon has eight consecutive top-12 finishes at Homestead. He finished both races in the Next Gen car in Southern Florida in the top-10 (4th in 2022 and 10th last year). Make sure you use Dillon in your season-long lineups, your One & Done Contest and in your DFS Contests at Homestead. It is the only track on the schedule where he consistently runs well at. I would fade Dillon at the other high tire wear tracks in 2024.
(Austin Dillon ranked 15th in fantasy points scored on the high tire wear tracks last year with an average finishing position of 18.6)
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE (LAS VEGAS, KANSAS, CHARLOTTE AND TEXAS)
Austin Dillon has been a good sleeper pick on the intermediate tracks. He won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in 2017. He will be a good pick for the marathon race again this season. Dillon finished 9th, 22nd, 6th and 8th in his last four Coca-Cola 600 races. He should be a good driver to take a chance with in your season-long and DFS Contests at Charlotte.
I will be keeping my eye on Austin Dillon for the March race in Las Vegas. Dillon has had some success at this track. I expect the Chevy’s will have a speed advantage early in the season. I doubt Dillon will finish in the top-five, but the No. 3 car could have the speed for a top-10 finish early in the season.
You need to take a wait and see approach with Austin Dillon at Kansas and Texas. He has a handful of top-15 finishes at Kansas, but not many top-10 finishes in the Heartland. There are better choices for your season-long lineups at Kansas. Dillon won at Texas in 2020. I doubt he will do it again, but he is worth consideration if the No. 3 car has speed in practice. Texas ranks as one of his best tracks on the schedule.
(Austin Dillon ranked 18th in fantasy points scored on the intermediate tracks last year with an average finishing position of 22.2)
Best Tracks for Austin Dillon: 1) Homestead, 2) Charlotte, 3) Nashville, 4) Charlotte Roval, 5) Texas
Be sure to check out all of the Driver Preview articles that will be released later this week. I will have the drivers ranked 21st – 35th for FREE. The top-20 will be behind the pay wall, so the members can get an advantage over their competitors.
* Team Information from Jaysky.com
** If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on X (Twitter) @MrFantasyNASCAR
*** If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook