NASCAR playoff drivers in trouble: No. 3 – Austin Dillon
Championship odds: +30000
Continuing the trend of Daytona 500 winners named Austin having a down year, Austin Dillon finds himself in 29th place in the point standings.
Yes, Dillon and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team were docked 60 points for illegal car modifications, but even without that penalty, Dillon would only be sitting in 25th place in the point standings, which is well below where he usually runs.
His lack of performance this season is quite surprising, given how well Kyle Busch has run in his first year with the team, a team that had been viewed as a tier below all of the teams they are now competing with at the front on a regular basis.
Fortunately for Dillon, he has plenty of experience of being “down and out” and then coming out of absolutely nowhere to make the playoffs.
Since the modern playoff format was introduced back in 2014, there have been 11 occasions of a driver from outside of the top 16 in the point standings qualifying for the postseason with a regular season win.
Only one driver has been responsible for more than one of those instances, and that driver is Dillon, who has done it four times, most recently in last year’s regular season finale.