FIDO – Forget It & Drive On. Austin Dillon and the No. 3 team’s entire 2020 mindset came from this mantra stemmed from RCR’s season kickoff luncheon, where Marine 1st Lt. Patrick “Clebe” McClary – a Medal of Honor recipient and motivational speaker – delivered an inspiring message. McClary lost his left arm and left eye in combat during the Vietnam War but continued to fight and lead his troops.
The message of never giving up resonated with the No. 3 team, and Dillon used it to continue to press forward during unprecedented times this season. Despite the many challenges of 2020, Dillon had one of the best seasons of his seven-year NASCAR Cup Series career with his fourth appearance in the NASCAR Playoffs, a win, four top-five, and nine top-10 finishes.
“I think it really hit home for me because I’m a fiery guy and I can dwell on things too long instead of moving on, and that acronym is just an easy reminder,” Dillon said, “like hey, man, it’s over; there’s no need to play it back or wonder why we’re in the situation we’re in. It’s just get the most out of everything that I can.”
Dillon certainly took the message to heart at Texas Motor Speedway. After showing speed and contending inside the top-10 throughout the race, crew chief Justin Alexander made the call for two left side tires on the final pit stop of the day. The call gave Dillon much needed track position, where he was able to fend off his fellow RCR teammate, Tyler Reddick, on a series of late restarts to score the victory.
The momentum from the No. 3 team’s huge win carried Dillon for the remainder of the regular season and into the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Playoffs. Dillon and the No. 3 team came out swinging in the first round of the playoffs with a second-place finish at Darlington Raceway, followed by a fourth-place finish at Richmond Raceway. Dillon and team ultimately finished the season 11th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings.
“I think we learned a lot this year as an organization, and already have solid momentum heading into 2021. As a team, we learned that every point matters and did a good job this year of starting up front and keeping track position. It was great to get a 1-2 finish for RCR at Texas Motor Speedway in June, and I know that we will continue to be competitive and strive for wins in 2021. For me personally, it was a great year on and off the track. We made the NASCAR Playoffs and my son Ace was born. We have some of the best partners in NASCAR and will continue to work hard for them.” – Austin Dillon