Austin Dillon One of the young guns in the Chase

Posted by: Sandy Terronez, follow on Twitter  @sandyterronez

September 16, 2017

The NASCAR playoffs head to Chicagoland Speedway for the first race in the first round. Each week, Motor Racing Digest writers will follow four drivers each during their playoff pursuit of a NASCAR championship. Here is a weekend preview for Austin Dillon.

Dillon will start the Chase playoff’s in fourteenth place in his No.3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS.  This is his second playoff appearance.

Dillon has one win, three top-five finishes and four top-ten finishes in 2017.

Dillon has three starts at Chicagoland Speedway.  He has no top five or top ten finishes. His average finishing position is 25th.

Dillon stated on his playoff chances “I think our chances are solid.  We have nothing to lose in my mindset in where we are at as far as the points go.  Last year we made some noise and made it to the second round, and missed the third round by one point.  I kicked myself over that point but I learned from it experience-wise.   I know how aggressive I need to be in those first couple of races to put ourselves in a little better position for the third race.  They are three-race seasons and you have to take them as that and get as much as you can out of them.”

When asked about his overall experience from last year he stated “Yeah, we were able to knock some guys out.  So, getting to the second round I definitely felt like I got some Playoff experience.  Then going to Talladega where the race was really tight going down to the last 100 yards to the start/finish line with Denny (Hamlin), and missed making that third round by a bumper over the 43 car.  So, if that happens (making it) then we go to the next three races with another shot and we are running third at Texas where I got wrecked by Harvick.  I kick myself for that one point for sure because we could have been one of those guys at Homestead.  And then everything changes again because you have a different outlook, a different mindset, when you get to those places.  I feel like last year we gained a lot of experience and I want to go further this year than I did last year.”

Dillion will be starting in the ninth position when the Monster Energy NASCAR field takes the track on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET for the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.  TV coverage will be on NBCSN.  Radio coverage will be on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.