The departure of Ryan Newman from the No. 31 would have been a logical time to bring Ty Dillon into his grandfather’s fold to join his brother Austin Dillon. Ty chose to stay put with the No. 13 Germain Racing team and crew chief Matt Borland.
It is unclear why unless there was a business opportunity that could not be overlooked to bring Daniel Hemric into Cup – but since the sponsorship lineup on the No. 31 looks much the same in 2019 as it did last year, that seems unlikely. Despite the support provided to Germain, Richard Childress Racing remains stronger overall and Dillon is not going to be as great a value as the two RCR drivers.
Dillon said that one of the reasons he want to stay with his current team is because they were coming into their own. That is not entirely true; only eight of their 23 top-25s last year came in September or later. What they did manage better in the second half of the season was in figuring out how to close races. Dillon ended the year with nine consecutive races in which he finished better than he qualified including nine-position advancements in the last two races of the season. That proved to be a benefit in games that offer place-differential points.
The similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks rate among the worst for Dillon and this team. After the road course in California, Kentucky Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the true oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway are the venues on which he has the worst average finish. That means you can ignore him on this track type.
On the other hand, flat tracks seem to fit in his wheelhouse nicely. Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway is his fourth best track in terms of career averages, followed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Dillon’s success in 2019 likely depends on how much support the No. 13 gets from RCR and with Hemric battling for Rookie of the Year honors, that might not be significant enough to make him a good value most weeks.
Three Best Tracks
Talladega (12.0 in 5 attempts)
Darlington (17.0 in 2)
Texas (19.2 in 5)
Three Worst Tracks
Sonoma (30.5 in 2)
Kentucky (29.0 in 3)
Chicagoland (27.7 in 3)
Victories: None (Best finish = 6th – Daytona II)
Top-fives: 0 (.000)
Top-10s: 1 (.028)
Top-15s: 5 (.139)
2018 Finishes at or above their rank? = 22 (61.1%)