The Frontstretch: 2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Ty Dillon by Summer Bedgood -- Tuesday December 3, 2013

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2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Ty Dillon

Summer Bedgood · Tuesday December 3, 2013


2013 Ride: No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2013 Primary Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, NWTF, Ducks Unlimited
2013 Owner: Richard Childress
2013 Crew Chief: Marcus Richmond

Stats: 22 races, 2 wins, 9 top 5s, 12 top 10s, 1 pole, 1 DNF, 2nd in points.
Best Finish: 1st, Twice (Kentucky, Texas).
Average Finish: 10.4.

Ty Dillon

2013 Team Ranking: 1st of 2. Ty Dillon’s second place finish in points was higher than teammate’s Brendan Gaughan, who finished seventh. Dillon also made it to victory lane while Gaughan did not.

High Point: Of Dillon’s two wins, his victory at Texas Motor Speedway had to be much more satisfying. Dillon didn’t just come in and win the race. He outright dominated, leading 130 of the 147 laps to win the race. Though the chances of him winning the championship at that point were nearly impossible, his team and him still had the wherewithal to lay a smack-down on the field. Though it doesn’t necessarily make a great race when one driver dominates the race, Dillon’s highest point in the season was certainly his most dominant win.

Low Point: Dillon’s lowest point of the season had to be the fall race at Martinsville Speedway, where he got into a vicious war of words with Childress’s Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick. Harvick and Dillon were racing for position with around 10 laps to go when Dillon made a move to the inside of Harvick. When he did so, he made contact with Harvick’s left rear quarter panel and sent the No. 14 spinning. Both Dillon and Harvick sustained heavy damage in the crash, and Harvick made his irritation with Dillon known by ramming into the right side of his truck after the caution had flown. Dillon, then, in an attempt at retaliation tried at least three times to spin Harvick around, albeit unsuccessfully.

Then, with what must have been one of the most remembered quotes of the entire NASCAR season, Harvick said this: “He (Dillon) just dumped me. Exactly the reason why I’m leaving RCR because you’ve got those kids coming up, and they’ve got no respect for what they do in this sport and they’ve had everything fed to them with a spoon. So I cut him slack all day, and he just dive-bombs me in there, dumps me. It’s a shame you’ve got to get taken out by some rich kid like that.”

Harvick departed for Stewart Haas Racing at the end of the 2013 season, which was part of the sting behind those comments. Though the two sides allegedly made amends, you cannot undo the words that were said.

To add insult to injury, Dillon’s 22nd place finish in that race was also the worst of the season.

Summary: Ty Dillon may not have had the unflinching consistency of Matt Crafton and ThorSport Racing this season, but they rightfully earned their second-place finish this season. Despite the fact that, yes, both Ty and his brother Austin were greatly helped in their racing careers by their grandfathers, their grandfather isn’t the one behind the wheel. We have seen in the past that even the best equipment doesn’t always translate to results for every driver. So though Harvick attempted to take his comments back, they were unfounded in the first place. Dillon held his own throughout the championship season and will likely be just as big of a force to be reckoned with in the Nationwide Series.

2014 Outlook: Speaking of the Nationwide Series, Dillon’s brother Austin won the championship in that series this season. Though Dillon couldn’t pull through on a Truck Series championship, there is no reason why he can’t contend for a Nationwide Series championship in 2014. He has the team and the equipment, and he certainly has the talent.

2012 Grade: N/A.
2013 Grade: A.

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