With the 2017 season firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to reflect on what happened. What else are we going to talk about?
Points Position: 24th
Stage Points: 5
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 0
Average Starting Position: 26.2
Average Finish: 20.7
Highlight: It’s a sign that NASCAR’s point system rewards drivers for not finishing poorly when a driver finishes 24th in the standings without recording a single top 10 like Dillon did in 2017.
He would have gotten a top 10 at Dover in June if it wasn’t for a late-race restart. After leading 27 laps before getting passed by Kyle Larson, Dillon was in good position after David Ragan hit the wall and caused a caution with less than three laps to go. But Dillon’s car snapped loose on the penultimate lap and combined with a less-than-stellar cleanup effort on the backstretch that left speedy dry on the track, he crashed and caused a massive wreck. Dillon finished 14th, which tied for his third-best finish of the season.
Lowlight: Dillon was so consistently mediocre that it’s hard to find a lowlight. And that’s a compliment in this section. His crash at Bristol in August dropped him from 23rd to 24th in the standings and he stayed in 24th the rest of the season.
Points Position: 27th
Stage Points: 11
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 1
Average Starting Position: 23.9
Average Finish: 22.2
Highlight: Once again, McDowell got his best finish of the season at a restrictor plate track. He finished fourth at Daytona in July, his only top-10 finish of the season. McDowell has five career top-10 finishes. Four have come at Daytona.
Lowlight: Need a late-race caution? Call McDowell. His crash late at Phoenix set up a strategy win for Ryan Newman in the spring. The real lowlight came off the track, where McDowell owned himself quite harshly on Twitter.
The “#FakeNews” hashtag came in response to a report that Kasey Kahne was an option to drive the No. 95 car in 2018. And guess what? Kahne will replace McDowell in that car next season. McDowell should have aoided quoting that tweet entirely.
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