‘Out of Office’ Signs Ready to Hang

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 10: Austin Dillon, driver of the #20 K&L Ready Mix Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway on June 10, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon is among the handful of NASCAR Cup Series drivers also running in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Sonoma – eager to get some laps of competition in before his primary race on Sunday.

It’s a lot of work this weekend, however, Dillon is buoyed by the fact that immediately after Sonoma the NASCAR Cup Series will have its only “off-week” of the 2022 season.

“I’ve got my vacation planned and my grandfather [team owner Richard Childress] is already on me about getting back to work,” Dillon said. “I was like, ‘hey, I’m taking this one off-weekend.”

Dillon said his family is looking forward to spending the rare downtime at the beach, expecting it to allow him to “refocus” on the closing stretch of the regular season.

The driver of the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet is currently winless in 2022 and ranked 16th in the standings – which would not qualify him for the Playoffs with three race winners – Kurt Busch, Austin Cindric and Denny Hamlin – right behind him the standings that jump over him into the top-16 based on their wins this season.

“Mathematically, it’s not hard at all for us to get into the Playoffs if there’s no more winners,” Dillon said. “I think we are in a place where we can point our way in. But I think there are going to be more [race] winners and we need to be one of them.”