NASCAR XFINITY Series - O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge
November 7, 2015 - Texas Motor Speedway - Forth Worth, TX
Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 167 in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Dillon drove this Richard Childress Racing-prepared Chevrolet to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October after starting from the pole position.
The Welcome, N.C., native has six previous NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the 1.5-mile track, collecting four top-five and six top-10 finishes. Dillon is credited with an average starting position of 3.7 and average finishing position of 5.2 with 17 laps led. In his six starts at the Fort Worth, Texas-based track, Dillon has earned a top-five starting position and finished within the top-seven of the running order.
So far this season, the No. 33 team has accumulated some impressive stats with Dillon, Paul Menard and Brandon Jones behind the wheel. In 30 races, the RCR team has garnered five wins, six pole awards, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes with 514 laps led.
Dillon started from the ninth position and struggled with a loose-handling condition during the beginning half of the event. Routine pit stops during caution periods allowed the Danny Stockman-led team to fine tune the handling of the Ruud Chevrolet with track bar, wedge and air pressure adjustments and, as the laps drew to a close, handling switched from loose to tight. Dillon took the final green flag from the eighth position but fell back on the restart as he scrambled for fuel pickup in the final laps of the race, which extended four laps past its advertised distance. He ultimately secured a 16th-place finish.
Dillon qualified the No. 33 Ruud Chevrolet Camaro third for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The RCR driver remained a fixture in the top 10 of the running order for the first portion of the race despite battling a lack of grip. Dillon was called to pit road on lap 111 under green flag conditions for four tires, fuel and a round of chassis adjustments. The pit strategy allowed Dillon to remain on the racing surface when a caution flag slowed the field on lap 127, placing the Ruud team second in the running order. The Welcome, N.C., native continued to battle lack of grip in the closing laps of the race and crossed the finish line in the fifth position.
According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Dillon holds some notable stats in the 2015 season. The 25-year-old driver ranks first in the following categories: drivers fastest late in a run, fastest driver on restarts and green-flag speed. Dillon is second amongst his competitors in drivers fastest early in a run and third in fastest laps run (347 laps) and mile leaders. He also ranks fourth in laps led (474 laps).
So far this season, Dillon has been entered in 17 XFINITY Series events, collecting four victories, 11 top-five finishes, 14 top-10 finishes and six pole awards. Dillon has led a total of 474 laps with an average starting position of 4.7 coupled with an average finishing position of 7.2.
Following this weekend's 200-lap event at Texas Motor Speedway, Dillon is scheduled to compete in the No. 33 Chevrolet for the remaining two XFINITY Series races this season.
You've run well at Texas Motor Speedway in the past. Does that give you confidence going back there this weekend?
Yeah, I really like racing at Texas. I can't wait to get there. It races a little bit like Las Vegas Motor Speedway in how you carry a ton of speed. Turns three and four are pretty similar. We won at Vegas earlier in the year, so I think we'll run well this weekend. - Austin Dillon
Coverage of this weekend's XFINITY O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, November 7, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC. It will also be broadcast live on Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM channel 90.