Season Review: Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon

"We got our win, and that was huge. That was one goal I had last year. Going into next year, (Championship 4) is my goal." (Photo: Getty Images)


2017 Race-by-Race Results | 2017 Detailed Statistics

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series saw Austin Dillon score his first career win.

That was definitely the highlight for the Richard Childress Racing driver as he wheeled the famed No. 3 to Victory Lane in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was the first time the number had won in NASCAR’s top series since the late Dale Earnhardt took the checkered flag in 2000.

"It hasn’t sunk in yet," Dillon said in Victory Lane. "I can’t believe it. I was really focused on those last laps. I never imagined I'd be here. We’re in the playoffs. It’s awesome."

Austin DillonDillon used fuel-mileage strategy to score the win and when Jimmie Johnson ran out with three laps remaining, he inherited the top spot and drove on to the win.

The finish secured a spot in the playoff field for Dillon. But unfortunately, he didn't capitalize on the opportunity and bowed out of the championship picture early.

Dillon put together a season that saw him score three top fives and four top-10 finishes. However, his struggles after winning in Charlotte at May were challenging. He didn’t score another top 10 until the August visit to Michigan International Speedway and his opening playoff-round performance of two 16th-place finishes along with a 19th ultimately spelled his title possibility demise.

Dillon has much greater aspirations in 2018 and hopes to take what was accomplished this past season to even greater heights.

"I have higher goals," Dillon said during NASCAR Champion’s Week activities in Las Vegas. "We got our win and that was huge. Going into next year, (Championship 4) is my goal."

Austin DillonDillon finished the season with five consecutive finishes of 14th or better.

"We were a consistent threat at the end of the year and had consistent finishes," he said.

There’s more in this off-season for Dillon in addition to preparing for the new campaign. He’ll officially tie the knot and join the ranks of being a married man.

"I'm excited about that," Dillon said. "Can’t wait to enjoy myself with (fiancé) Whitney, having a really good off-season with friends and family. Finally get to wear a ring that’s gonna be there all the time."

Motor Racing Network continues our look at the 16 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers in 2017 tomorrow with a recap of the season for 10th-place finisher Jimmie Johnson.

Click to View Season Reviews for Each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Driver

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