Austin Dillon is a survivor in war of attrition in the desert

Austin Dillon got his wish—Sunday’s South Point 400 didn’t finish the way it started for the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team.

The reigning Daytona 500 winner was relegated to the rear of the field for the opening green flag because of unapproved adjustments to the body of the Chevrolet. But Dillon persevered, and when attrition took care of more than half the Playoff contenders, he rolled home with an 11th-place finish that left him 10th in the standings heading to Richmond for the second race in the first round of the postseason.

Dillon finished behind teammate Ryan Newman in ninth and former teammate Paul Menard in 10th.

“Yeah, I’m proud of our guys,” Dillon said. “They brought a really fast race car. We gave up a lot of track position throughout the day, not just from starting in the back, but on pit stops we really struggled.

“But, you know, proud of the effort. I felt like I got out all I could out of it. Bummer at the end.  We needed a top 10.  Eleventh is good, but racing my teammate to the line there, I thought we would get him, but we didn’t.”

Compared with pole winner Erik Jones, though, Dillon’s turnaround could be described as spectacular good fortune—Jones started first and finished last.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.