Richard Childress Racing Names Austin Dillon’s New Crew Chief

Keith Rodden

Getty Keith Rodden (right) will become Austin Dillon's new crew chief.

Crew chief Justin Alexander announced before the playoffs that he would step down from the No. 3 pit box. Now Richard Childress Racing has hired his replacement for the 2023 Cup Series season.

According to an announcement made on October 28, Austin Dillon’s new crew chief will be Keith Rodden. The veteran will make the move from General Motors, where he worked on the Motorsports Competition NASCAR strategy group. He worked with the Chevrolet teams and helped them figure out the best approach for on-track tests, practice sessions, and race weekends.

Along with his time at General Motors, Rodden spent several years working for some of the prominent teams in NASCAR. He spent time with Hendrick Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports, Team Red Bull, and Chip Ganassi Racing while working as both an engineer and as a crew chief.

Rodden most recently called a race during the 2020 season while working as a one-week replacement for Chad Knaus on the No. 24 pit box. He guided William Byron to a 10th-place finish at Kansas Speedway.

Rodden will take over the No. 3 pit box while Dillon’s current crew chief will take on a new role. Alexander will become Richard Childress Racing’s director of vehicle performance.

Rodden Celebrated 1 Cup Series Win

Keith Rodden

GettyKeith Rodden (right) celebrated a Cup Series win in 2017.

Rodden only spent one race with William Byron, but he spent one season as the crew chief for Jamie McMurray and three seasons as the crew chief for Kasey Kahne. He was atop the No. 5 pit box in 2015, 2016, and 2017, which resulted in 24 top-10s, nine top-fives, and one win.

The trip to Victory Lane occurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2017 season. Kahne faced an uncertain future at Hendrick Motorsports after a winless drought lasting more than 100 races, and he was able to survive one of the strangest Brickyard 400s in history.

The race took six hours to complete due to 14 cautions, three red flags, and a rain delay that lasted nearly two hours. 19 of the drivers were unable to finish the race, but Kahne survived the carnage and captured the win in overtime as the last caution flag flew. He then went to the infield care center to receive intravenous fluids.

The win helped Kahne and Rodden secure a spot in the playoffs. Though the driver of the No. 5 finished out the schedule with a different crew chief. Darian Grubb took over the pit box starting with the 28th race of the season.

Dillon Has Celebrated All His Wins With Alexander

Austin Dillon

GettyAustin Dillon celebrates a win at Daytona International Speedway.

Dillon has worked with multiple crew chiefs during his full-time Cup Series career. He started out with Gil Martin in 2014 before working with Richard “Slugger” Labbe from mid-2015 until early 2017. Dillon then spent 2017 through 2022 with both Alexander and Danny Stockman Jr.

All of Dillon’s best performances have been with Alexander atop the pit box. He won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2017, the Daytona 500 in 2018, the Texas Motor Speedway race in 2020, and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona in 2022.

Dillon will now join forces with a new crew chief for the 2023 season. He will work with Rodden for the first time in his career while trying to return to the playoffs for the sixth time in his career.

“In working with Richard Childress Racing, and in particular the No. 3 team, over the years, I’ve been really impressed with their competitive nature, dedication to hard work, and emphasis on partner relationships,” Rodden said. “I’m looking forward to getting back into a team crew chief role and doing so with one of the strongest teams in the Team Chevy family. “

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