NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Top Performances of 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2010) -- There certainly were some outstanding performances -- including the closest margin of victory in series history -- that took place during the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. The following is a look back at some of those standout performers and memorable races, as selected from discussions with the national series director, competition department and NASCAR PR managers.
Top Drivers (in alphabetical order)
* Aric Almirola -- In only his second full season of competition, Almirola finished second in the championship standings -- becoming only the third driver in series history under the age of 30 to finish in the runner-up position in the series standings. His season received a boost of momentum when he earned his first career series victory at Dover International Speedway in May and won again three weeks later at Michigan International Speedway. He finished the season with a career-best 11 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.
* Todd Bodine -- For the second time in series history, Bodine was crowned the series champion. He joined Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jack Sprague as multiple title winners. He finished in the top five an impressive 17 times and captured four victories during his quest for the championship, including an impressive sixth victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
* Kyle Busch -- Despite adding team owner to his duties, Busch collected an impressive six poles, eight wins, 13 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. Busch had an average finish of 4.0 and won six of the final 10 races of the season. His dominance on the track led to the Kyle Busch Motorsports team securing the NASCAR owner title following the season-ending race at Homestead--Miami Speedway.
Top Breakthrough Performer of the Year
* Austin Dillon -- In his first full season of NASCAR national series competition, Dillon rewrote the history books en route to securing the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. The Lewisville, N.C., native earned seven poles in 2010, breaking a 12-year-old rookie pole record previously held by Greg Biffle (four). He captured his first career victory at Iowa Speedway in July and returned to Victory Lane two months later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After finishing outside the top 10 in five of the first seven races, he rebounded to end the season with 16 top-10 finishes. Dillon, grandson of NASCAR car owner Richard Childress, finished fifth in the series-ending points standings, becoming only the second rookie to do so in nine seasons.
Top Team Owner of the Year
* Kyle Busch -- In its first year of competition, Kyle Busch Motorsports captured the owner title, marking the first time in series history the driver championship team did not also claim the owner title. In addition, Kyle Busch Motorsports became the first team since the inaugural season in 1995 to win the owner title during its first year of competition. Even though Busch dominated the charge with eight series victories and six poles, it took a team of three additional drivers -- Brian Ickler, Johnny Benson Jr. and Kasey Kahne -- to capture the owner title. In 25 races last season, Kyle Busch Motorsports finished inside the top 10 in all but four races.
Comeback Driver of the Year
* Jason White -- After winning the pole and finishing fourth at the season opener at Daytona, White proved moving to Green Light Racing during the off season was the right decision. With a new team, he garnered three top-five and seven top-10 finishes, earning a career-best 10th-place finish in the final series standings. Also, the stellar season marked the first time Green Light Racing has finished inside the top 10 in the series standings.
* James Buescher -- Earned an impressive 11th-place finish -- just 16 points outside the top 10 -- in the final series standings despite not competing in the first three races of the season. In 22 races, he earned six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with a startup team.
Top Five Races of the Year (in chronological order)
* NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway (February 12) -- Twelve different drivers swapped the lead 23 times before Timothy Peters made an impressive last-lap pass around defending race winner Todd Bodine to score his first superspeedway victory. It marked Toyota's fourth straight victory at the famed 2.5-mile track.
* O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway (May 2) -- Known to ruffle each other's feathers from time to time, competitors Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday Jr. pulled off the most impressive saves of the season, as both race trucks turned sideways at a 60-degree angle at the same time without wrecking one another. Sauter went on to win his second career series victory the day after his 32nd birthday.
* Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom at Iowa Speedway (July 11) -- In only his 12th series start, rookie standout Austin Dillon grabbed his first career win, becoming the second-youngest winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Dillon, a third generation racer, became the first member of the Childress family to earn a NASCAR victory.
* Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway (July 31) -- The stage was set for the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the triangle-shaped 2.5-mile facility using a new qualifying format. Aside from road-course events, it marked the first time in series history in which more than one truck was qualifying at the same time. The much anticipated 50-lap shootout lived up to its hype with an emotional Elliott Sadler, holding off a late race charge by Kasey Kahne, returning to Victory Lane for the first time in NASCAR competition since 2004. He became the third different driver this season to win in a Kevin Harvick Inc. entry.
* Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's at Talladega Superspeedway (October 30) -- In a three-wide race to the finish on the last lap, Kyle Busch narrowly beat Aric Almirola, followed by Johnny Sauter, by .002 seconds. It was the closest margin of victory in series history. It was the second year in a row that Busch and Almirola recorded a one-two finish. There were 15 lead changes among eight different drivers.