Austin Dillon is no stranger to NASCAR Cup Series competition. However, he has spent the offseason making some changes to his approach for the 2023 season. He has refocused on the mental aspect.
Dillon provided comments about the approach during a media session at Daytona International Speedway. He explained that he has been spending time each night focusing on reading, which includes a book discussing perseverance and talent. This new process has helped him get to a better place approaching his 10th full-time season in the Cup Series.
“I feel physically, mentally, in the best place I’ve been going and prepared for the season,” Dillon said. “I joined Josh Wise’s group with Chevrolet, so that was cool. I think that’s going to help me throughout the year. I’m already seeing some benefits with that, and thank Chevy for putting that program together too.”
Preparation is Key With the Considerable Pressure
Focusing on the mental aspect is key for multiple reasons. One prominent example is the pressure that he faces as the current driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon is well aware of the legacy surrounding that door number, and he feels the pressure to deliver wins on a consistent basis.
Another example is the addition of Kyle Busch to the Richard Childress Racing roster. Dillon acknowledged that the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver has accomplished so much in the NASCAR Cup Series. Now, it’s up to Dillon to turn in some strong performances of his own.
Facing the pressure head-on is important, but it is also up to Dillon to respond in a way that does not disrupt his performance in future races. He can’t let the outcome of one event affect how he prepares for the next, which is something that he continues to focus on.
“If you take the highs and the lows hard, it’s hard to sustain in this sport,” Dillon said. “You’ve got to be able to stay level, even on the high days. I like to have a good time when you win because you don’t know when your last one is, but you also have to get over it quick and to the next race.”
The 2023 Season Will Be an Important Test
Dillon has altered his approach during the offseason, and he is back for another full-time season. Though he will have to contend with numerous changes in the organization. This includes a new teammate in Kyle Busch and a new crew chief in Keith Rodden.
The 2023 season will serve as an important test, something that Dillon acknowledged during his media availability. He made it clear that winning one race will not be enough. He and Richard Childress Racing as a whole will have to be in contention week in and week out.
“More than anything, I want to improve on what we did last year,” Dillon said. “We both made the playoffs last year. Kyle obviously, made the playoffs, but how do we take RCR to the next level, and that’s consistently getting multiple wins, and multiple wins is what it takes to win a championship. You’ve got to win more than once, so for me, that’s the goal.”