Bristol Dirt Nationals Winner Austin Dillon Aims to Carry Momentum Into NASCAR Cup Race on Bristol Dirt

Published 03/26/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 02: Austin Dillon (3) Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 on March 2, 2019, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Tami Pope/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


The likes of Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Tyler Reddick are some of the favorites for the first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt in 50 years. However, on current form and confidence, Austin Dillon can certainly spring a surprise come Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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The biggest confidence-booster for Dillon is his impressive showing in the Bristol Dirt Nationals this past weekend. Dillon was one of the few NASCAR drivers who participated in the event to get some dirt racing experience under their belt.

He was a man on a mission this past weekend, as he won races throughout the weekend at Bristol Dirt Nationals, eventually winning the main event as well.

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Dillon drove a no. 3 Late Model on the dirt, dominating the main race to win the title. He was quite pleased with his first race on dirt in half a decade.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) leads NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) and Austin Dillon (3) to win the during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Dillon aims to carry momentum into NASCAR Bristol dirt race

He also felt that Saturday’s win at Bristol gave him a lot of confidence going into the Cup race at Atlanta. Dillon was visibly pumped up during the Atlanta race and finished in 6th place.

It was five or six years I think since I’d been in a dirt car,” Dillon said ahead of Sunday’s NASCAR race.

“Definitely, a little nervous when I started but felt at home as we were able to win the heat race. We won in the feature and then go into the main event and win. That was a fun, fun time. I think it kind of brought confidence into Atlanta, I really do,” he added.

The Dirt Nationals win is just one of the reasons why Dillon is a driver to watch out for this Sunday. Back in 2013, the former NASCAR Truck champion also won a Truck Series race on the dirt at Eldora. He was the first NASCAR winner on dirt in over 40 years.

The Richard Childress Racing star hopes to use that experience as well for the first Cup race on dirt in 51 years.

Dillon looks back on his famous NASCAR Trucks win at Eldora

“It’s different for sure. I’m gonna try and lean on the Truck experience we had at Eldora. We were the first ones to win on dirt when we brought it back,” Dillon said further.

Dillon then reminisced about his 2013 win. He received a shovel as a memento for the victory and was pictured with NASCAR legend Richard Petty as he held his trophy. Dillon called it ‘one of his favorite pictures.’ Petty won the race the last time the Cup Series raced on dirt, back in 1970.

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FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 11: Austin Dillon, driver of the #51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet, sits in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gen-6 Testing at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Dillon looks forward to winning the return race. “To win the inaugural race would mean a lot. Just pumped to see what it brings for the sport and our fans,” he expressed.

If he wins this Sunday, the no.3 RCR driver will become the seventh different winner in the first seven races of the 2021 Cup season.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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