Austin Dillon Earns Seventh-Place Finish and Sixth Pole Award PHOENIX, Arizona (November 12, 2010) -- Austin Dillon earned his 16th top-10 finish of his rookie NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season on Friday evening at Phoenix International...
Austin Dillon Earns Seventh-Place Finish and Sixth Pole Award
PHOENIX, Arizona (November 12, 2010) -- Austin Dillon earned his 16th top-10 finish of his rookie NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season on Friday evening at Phoenix International Raceway, finishing seventh in the NASCAR 150 after earning a series-high sixth pole award earlier in the day.
Dillon remains fifth in the NCWTS championship point standings, 93 points in arrears to Matt Crafton in fourth. He leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings heading into championship weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team started Friday on a positive note when the 20-year-old driver earned his sixth pole award of the season with a 26.945 second lap around the one-mile oval at a speed of 133.605 mph, extending the record for most poles by a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in series history. The pole award also allowed him to pass Kyle Busch as the driver with the most pole awards this season.
Starting from the pole position in front of an estimated 28,500 race fans, Dillon immediately jumped to the point position at the wave of the green flag, but relinquished the lead to Clint Bowyer on lap 24 as he battled a loose-handling truck.
Dillon was running third when a lap-52 caution flag afforded the RCR team to bring Dillon down pit road for a round of adjustments on the black No. 3 that included four Goodyear tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and a right-rear air pressure adjustment.
Solid work by the crew allowed Dillon to restart the race second when green flag racing resumed on lap 59. However, in less than 10 laps, Dillon once again reported that the handling was going away on his truck, and he dropped to seventh in the running order before crew chief Danny Stockman directed Dillon down pit road for one final pit stop following a lap-88 caution.
Taking on four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, the Bass Pro Shops team was fast on pit road, and Dillon was able to gain three positions. He restarted the race fourth on lap 95.
However, on the restart, Dillon got held up on the outside line by a slower truck, and dropped to sixth in the running order. Spotter Andy Houston preached patience to his young driver, and Dillon slowly began to advance his position on the race track.
Dillon was running fourth with 50 laps remaining in the race, but 15 laps later he made slight contact with another competitor, bringing out the fifth and final caution flag of the evening.
Although there was slight right-front fender damage to the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, the team quickly determined that Dillon would be able to continue on, and Dillon was scored in fifth for the lap-118 restart.
The last 32 laps of the race remained green, and Dillon crossed the checkers in seventh.
RCR's Clint Bowyer, driving a Kevin Harvick, Inc., Chevrolet, earned his second NCWTS victory making his first series start in six years. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Aric Almirola.
Dillon's RCR stable mate, Tim George Jr., finished 22nd after making a late-race green-flag pit stop.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wraps up the 2010 season with a 200-mile race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 19, 2010.
AUSTIN DILLON: "We fired off at the beginning of the race and we were good out front, but then we got very loose. We got off a little bit because I couldn't race hard with the setup of the truck. Danny Stockman, our crew chief, did a great job on that last stop. We passed Aric Almirola and I was working on Ron Hornaday, but I got loose under him."