On Friday, Richard Childress Racing announced Keith Rodden as the crew chief for Austin Dillon for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. Rodden, who has a treasure trove of experience within the sport as a crew chief, race engineer will replace Justin Alexander, who announced his departure as crew chief back in May.
As part of the Rodden announcement, RCR added that Alexander has been named the team’s director of vehicle performance.
Rodden, who last served as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief for William Byron for one race during the 2020 season, which resulted in a 10th-place finish, has most recently been serving on the Motorsports Competition NASCAR Strategy group for General Motors.
The new crew chief for the iconic No. 3 car has worked for numerous organizations since joining the sport in 2003. Rodden has worked for Hendrick Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports, Red Bull Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.
Now, Rodden will add another legendary team to his portfolio — RCR.
Overall, Rodden has one career NASCAR Cup Series win in 139 races as a crew chief.
In addition to Rodden being added to the team, Kyle Busch was signed to drive the No. 8 car as Dillon’s teammate for the 2023 season. The Busch acquisition was announced on September 13th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Following the announcement, RCR’s technical director Andy Petree, who according to RCR’s press release gave Rodden his first job in NASCAR, was asked about where things stood on a new crew chief for Dillon, and Petree admitted that the team was taking its time to find the person they felt was the best fit for the No. 3 team.
It appears they have found the person they feel is the best fit in the former Hendrick Motorsports team engineer and crew chief.
Dillon, who made the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2022 after missing the cut in 2021, has enjoyed potentially the best season of his NASCAR Cup Series career in 2022.
The 32-year-old driver scored a win at Talladega after narrowly avoiding a massive crash when rain caused many of the drivers in the field to lose control late in the race.
Dillon has five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s through 34 starts this season.