News surfaced prior to the Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway that Austin Dillon will have a new crew chief in 2023. Now he has set his expectations for the person that will replace Justin Alexander.
“Just someone that brings something to the table when it comes to RCR,” Dillon said on September 3. “We’ve got a lot of positive momentum. Someone that gets along well with Randall [Burnett], the other crew chief that we have at RCR; just kind of working with him right now.
“Justin and him work so well together and I’d like to keep that going if any way possible, with whoever comes in and crew chief’s me next year. Someone that has a good, positive attitude and willing to go work. Make me better, push me to be a better driver. All options are on the table right now.”
Dillon made the comments while meeting with media members at Darlington Raceway. He explained that his longtime crew chief is stepping away from the pit box so that he can spend more time with his family. Dillon believes that Richard Childress Racing can keep Alexander around in some capacity. It just won’t be as a crew chief.
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Alexander Leaves Big Shoes To Fill at RCR
Dillon has worked with multiple crew chiefs during his Cup Series career. However, the overwhelming majority of his success has been with Alexander atop the pit box. This run includes 36 top-10 finishes and 13 top-fives across three full seasons, one partial season (2017), and the regular season in 2022.
Along with the strong finishes, Dillon has also celebrated all of his wins with Alexander. All four of his trips to Victory Lane have been with one crew chief, including the regular-season finale in 2022 that punched his ticket to the playoffs.
The next crew chief that comes in and joins the No. 3 team will have to fill Alexander’s shoes. They will have to help Dillon add more wins to his total and consistently contend for spots in the 16-driver playoff field.
Alexander & Dillon Will Pursue More Wins Together
Now that Dillon has laid out his expectations for his next crew chief, he will continue to focus on another pressing issue. He is in the Cup Series playoffs, and he has the opportunity to pursue more wins and spots in the upcoming rounds.
One of these races will take place at a track where Alexander and Dillon previously celebrated. They will head to Texas Motor Speedway on September 25. This race will kick off the Round of 12, and it will provide Dillon with a significant opportunity to return to Victory Lane, provided he is still in the playoffs at that point.
Back in 2020, Alexander and Dillon reunited after one year apart. They reached the playoffs after the first race at Texas Motor Speedway, which featured Dillon holding off Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano on multiple restarts. This win was the third of Dillon’s career, and it helped him reach the playoffs for the fourth time in his career.