Justin Alexander returns as Austin Dillon’s Cup crew chief, beginning at Martinsville

Richard Childress Racing revealed that Justin Alexander, a competition director at RCR, will replace Keith Rodden and serve as Austin Dillon’s crew chief, beginning in this upcoming weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway.

The announcement of Alexander’s move as Dillon’s crew chief is one of several personnel changes made to strengthen the organization’s competition and performance in the early stages and throughout the 2024 Cup Series season. In addition, Joel Keller has been named a lead engineer for Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in the Cup circuit. Rodden, the 2017 Brickyard 400 winning crew chief who first worked as Dillon’s crew chief last season, will assume a larger role within RCR and be involved in tasks including leadership, coordination and support to strengthen RCR’s entries.

“The organizational changes were made to help Richard Childress Racing’s overall NASCAR Cup Series program as we prepare for the rest of the season and locking two teams into the NASCAR Playoffs,” Andy Petree, executive vice president for Richard Childress Racing, said. “Justin Alexander and Austin Dillon share a unique chemistry that has proven effective in the past. We want to thank Keith Rodden for his leadership of the No. 3 team and know that the contributions he will continue to make to RCR in his new role will be valuable across the organization.”

The 2024 season will mark Alexander’s third time overall being named Austin Dillon’s crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series. A graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Alexander, who also previously worked at Hendrick Motorsports, first became Dillon’s crew chief prior to the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the duo achieved their first career victory amid a late fuel-mileage battle. A year later, they won the 60th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway after leading only the final lap.

After being replaced by Danny Stockman Jr. in 2019, Alexander reunited with Dillon in 2020, where they won at Texas Motor Speedway. Two years later, Dillon and Alexander won the regular-season finale at Daytona enabling them to claim a Playoff berth.

Within all four of Dillon’s Cup Series victories, all occurring with Alexander, he made the Playoffs and settled in a career-best 11th place in the final driver’s standings three times (2017, 2020 and 2022). Alexander also led Paul Menard and the No. 27 RCR Chevrolet SS team to the 2015 Playoffs, where they placed 14th place in the final standings.

Through 242 appearances as a Cup Series crew chief, Alexander has accumulated four victories, 17 top-five results and 49 top-10 results while working with seven different competitors, among which include Austin Dillon, Menard, Ty Dillon, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick and Kaz Grala. He recently served as Brodie Kostecki’s crew chief during his Cup debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course last August, where Kostecki finished 22nd. Alexander has also achieved two victories as a crew chief in 29 appearances as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series, both occurring in 2016 with Austin Dillon and Michael McDowell

Justin Alexander’s return as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief with Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team is set to occur this upcoming Sunday, April 7, at Martinsville Speedway for the Cook Out 400. The event’s broadcast time is slated to commence at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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