The 2023 NASCAR Cup series season ended with Team Penske Racing’s Ryan Blaney winning the Cup title over the Hendrick Motorsports duo of Kyle Larson and William Byron with his clutch form in the last five races of the season. It marked the second Cup season in the Next-Gen car era and the repeat of Ford taking home the title.
The season witnessed some chaos and unfortunate moments as always, and two drivers that have been the victims of such incidents in 2023 have been the Chevy duo of Larson and Austin Dillon. The RCR-HMS duo suffered the most DNFs this season, and they were at the top of the same list last season as well.
2021 Cup series champion Larson failed to finish the eight races of the 2023 season with the No:5 Chevy. At the same time, Dillon failed to finish ten races in the No:3 Chevy (according to NBC). In the 2022 season, their DNFs were seven and eight, respectively. It suggests both drivers are taking a bit more risks compared to their rivals and sometimes are finding themselves in the wrong spot.
Larson and Dillon, though, had contrasting seasons. The HMS driver finished the year as championship runner with four wins while Dillon went winless and finished at P29 in the championship after a massive point deduction due to a penalty imposed by NASCAR. In the Next-Gen car era, Dillon has DNFed 18 times. Before, in seven seasons in the Cup, he had just 23 DNFs. Larson, the Next-Gen era DNF count is 15, just three less.
That's the 10th DNF for @austindillon3 this year. All of them due to crashes.
This was once a driver known for keeping it clean; Dillon finished all 36 races as a rookie. Just a terrible 2023 for the No. 3 team.#NASCAR#Yellawood500
While Larson’s DNFs of 2023, to a certain extent, attributed to him pushing the car too much sometimes and getting into tricky situations, Dillon has a lot to do with the underwhelming car he had this year. His teammate, Veteran Kyle Busch, DNFed six times this year (P3), showing the cars have some role, But Busch has a solid start to the season with three race wins before the massive performance slump in the second half of the season.
Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez is fourth on the list of DNFs this year, behind Busch in 2023. It represents the underwhelming season he had this season that saw him failing to get into the playoffs. It was two more DNFs than 2022 for him.
At P5, it’s 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, who had the best season of his career, which saw him finish P10 in the championship and get into the R-12 of the playoffs. In the 2022 season, he had seven DNFs, and the drop in number resonates with his final standing.
The top-10 list includes 2022 Cup champion Joey Logano, the rookie of the season Ty Gibbs at P6 and P7. The last three spots are occupied by Ryan Preece of Stewart Haas Racing, Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing, and Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain.
Justin P Joy is a Motorsports writer and editor at FirstSportz. He has been a motorsport journalist since 2020 and has published over 2000 articles. Justin has extensively covered two NASCAR, Formula One, and Moto GP seasons for FirstSportz. He has invested more than a decade of his life on Motorsports, first as a fan and later as a dedicated writer. Justin’s in-depth knowledge of Motorsports and his experience as a fan make his writing resonate with most racing fans worldwide.
Justin's love for racing started when he discovered Moto GP at the age of 8. That love later guided him into the world of Formula 1. He fell in love with NASCAR after watching Tom Cruise’s “Days of Thunder” and has been an avid follower of the premier stock car racing series since. He has also been investing his time to exploring WEC, WRC, Formula E, Extreme E, and IndyCar in a bid to deeply understand the culture and history of Motorsports to present a unique perspective to the fans.
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