St. Louis: Austin Dillion preview

This Week's Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Gateway International Raceway ... Austin Dillon will pilot chassis No. 005 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stable in this weekend's CampingWorld.com 200. This is the same...

This Week's Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet at Gateway International Raceway ... Austin Dillon will pilot chassis No. 005 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stable in this weekend's CampingWorld.com 200. This is the same chassis that Dillon drove to Victory Lane on Sunday at Iowa Speedway, leading 187 of 200 laps, earning a perfect driver rating of 150 and out-dueling Johnny Sauter in a green-white-checkered restart to earn his first career NCWTS victory and bring sponsor Bass Pro Shops and RCR's famed black No. 3 to Victory Lane. It was the first win for car owner Richard Childress in the NCWTS since 1999. In addition to Iowa, Dillon raced this chassis, built in-house by the Danny Stockman-led Bass Pro Shops team, at Texas Motor Speedway in June, finishing third after starting on the pole.

Perfection ... Dillon earned a perfect driver rating of 150 at Iowa Speedway last weekend, joining Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch as the only drivers to earn a perfect score this season. The rating is based on a formula computing wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap and laps led.

Youth of the Nation ... With his victory in Sunday's Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom, Dillon became the series' second youngest winning driver at age 20 years two months 37 days. Kyle Busch remains the youngest series winner at 20 years 0 months 18 days.

Sunday Drive ... Dillon's victory, in one of just three NCWTS races that fall on a Sunday this season, is ironic because the 20-year-old High Point University student and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet were recently featured in a country music video for Tim Dugger's song, "Sunday Drive".

Raybestos Rookie Contender ... Dillon is currently the leading candidate for the 2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year award and has earned Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in seven out of ten races.

Eyes in the Sky ... Although Friday's CampingWorld.com 200 marks Dillon's first appearance at Gateway International Raceway, team spotter Andy Houston, a former driver in each of NASCAR's top-three national tours, has made five previous starts at Gateway as a driver - four in the NCWTS and one in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

AUSTIN DILLON:

In the span of just over a week, your grandfather has visited Victory Lane three times, once with the 3 car with Dale Jr., Kevin Harvick won at Daytona, and then your first trip to Victory Lane yesterday in Iowa. What has it been like to be around your grandfather this past week or so? With two victories coming in the 3 car, what was it like to play a role in this outcome?

"You know, I was at the shop last week. The sign out front, we put different stuff on top of the sign. I was looking at it. It said, "Life is good." I think that represents us right now as good as anything. We got our first victory in the Truck Series. My grandfather was there to celebrate with us. It was pretty awesome. RCR, last year was a pretty rough year for us. I think we've turned it around for us this year. It's pretty exciting to see what's going on."

You've won the pole three straight times, but never raced at Gateway. Can you continue that kind of run or run up front? This is a track where you have to run pretty much up front if you're going to win.

"Yeah, I've been getting a few notes from dad and some other people have been telling me about the track. The way our equipment and trucks have been handling, I feel like there's no reason we shouldn't be able to go out there and run well. We might not be able to pick up as fast as we usually do in practice and make the adjustments we're able to make when we were fast right off the truck. There's a good shot at it. Four in a row would be awesome. I don't know what the record is for the Truck Series for how many poles in a row, but I'd love to go for it."

Having never raced at Gateway, have you been talking to people who have in the past?

"Yeah, I mean, just trying to get as much information as you can gather. But the main thing is when you get there, you have to learn it yourself. That's what I figured from going to these places for the first time. You have to go out there with the mindset that you're going to pick it up quick, you're going to learn the line, do what it takes to get fast, whatever it takes, and do it fast. You only have an hour and a half each practice."

-source: rcr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Johnny Sauter , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch