The Backstretch Blog's Top 16 in '18: No. 12 Austin Dillon

JOLIET, IL - AUGUST 15: during testing for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway on August 15, 2017 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

National Signing Day is in the books so now we start to look forward to another big day that doesn't mean much, the Clash at Daytona. NASCAR fans are counting down the days til Sunday's race because it marks the unofficial start of the 2018 season. We still have a few days til we get there, so in the meantime lets continue to get in the mood with this countdown..Here's today's driver:

Number 12- Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing

I know a lot of people look at Austin Dillon with a rich kid who just got a ride because his grandfather is Richard Childress, but unlike others who have gotten their rides through money and connections, Dillon actually has some talent. He wont championships in the truck and Xfinity series.

Last season was a break through season for Dillon, he won his first race on the Cup series and qualified for the playoffs, finishing 11th in the points. I don't know if Dillon is any better than a top 11 driver, but I know that RCR is one of the elite teams in the garage and Dillon is its featured driver. And now that the organization is down to just two teams in 2018, you have to believe even more resources will go into making the boss' grandson competitive. I expect the 3 team to win a race again this season and possibly advance a round or two in the playoffs. I'm just not sure as it stands right now, RCR has the gravitas to compete for a championship,

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