Austin Dillon is already proving to be the dark horse of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this season. After a second-place finish last weekend at Darlington, the Richard Childress Racing driver powered through to a top-five finish at Richmond, after overcoming pit-road troubles. Hoping to continue the great run, Dillon has no problems with being underestimated.
“I hope they keep doubting us,” Dillon said after his fourth-place finish at Richmond Raceway. Dillon expressed that he and the team are putting themselves in positions to win and that is showing in their results.
“We’re putting ourselves in positions to win and you do that long enough, it pays off. We haven’t been here and we’re kind of new to this. So we’ve gotta keep running up here and those wins are gonna start clicking up. I know we got that win in Texas. But we’ve got to make it happen when we got cars like this tonight,” Dillon said further.
Dillon’s and his car’s performance earned high praise from Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well who was in the commentary.
Austin Dillon was a man on a mission from the start of the race. He grabbed the early lead with Kevin Harvick and stayed in the front of the field for most of the race. He finished second in the first two stages, behind Denny Hamlin and race winner Brad Keselowski respectively. “To come from the back to finish second in stage two was just so awesome,” Dillon said.
He looked set for another top-three finish, but a late mistake cost him. With over 60 laps to go, Dillon slowed down as he tried to enter the pit road. However, he just misjudged his timing and missed the pit road. He lost about three seconds there.
However, he held on for his second consecutive top-five finish. The momentum and confidence are high for Dillon and he suddenly turned many heads towards himself and the No. 3 team as the playoffs continue.
Dillon said that the confidence for the next race at Bristol is “pretty high”, as he looks to seal his place in the Round of 12.
The final race in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 16 is next Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.