2016 Season in the Rearview Mirror
With Homestead-Miami Speedway in the rearview mirror, Richard Childress Racing officially closes the books on the 2016 NASCAR season.
Throughout the season, RCR teams competed at the front of the field and in the Chase playoff format in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series. All told, the organization scored three wins, 37 top fives, 98 top 10s, five poles and 462 laps led across the two series.
Austin Dillon led the charge for RCR in the Sprint Cup Series, recording a career-high 14th-place finish in the driver championship point standings after earning his first berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet SS earned career-high marks with four top fives, 13 top 10s and two pole awards.
The older Dillon brother also led the No. 2 XFINITY Series team to Victory Lane twice in 2016, scoring wins at Auto Club Speedway in March and Bristol Motor Speedway in August. Road Course ace Michael McDowell also drove the No. 2 NXS Chevrolet to Victory Lane at Road America in August, one week after Dillon’s Bristol win.
All three of RCR’s full-time XFINITY Series drivers – Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan and Brandon Jones – qualified for the series inaugural Chase format, making up a quarter of the Chase field. Gaughan advanced the furthest of the three competitors, making it to the Round of 8, where he was ultimately eliminated from championship contention. Ty Dillon ended the season fifth in points, the highest not only of the RCR group, but also of the non-Championship 4 contenders.
Away from the track, the 2016 season was one a significance for RCR, as team owner Richard Childress was selected as a 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. Childress is already a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, Motorsports Hall of Fame and North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame.