Sparta, KY- For the first time in his NASCAR career the young Austin Dillon was shut out at Kentucky Speedway over a complete season.
Dillon won at Kentucky in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition in 2011. He would go on to win the season championship in the Truck Series that year and graduate up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series full-time in 2012.
Dillon won his first career Nationwide Series race at Kentucky in June 2012, leading over 190 of the 200 Laps. He backed that up with another dominating performance in the late summer race by sweeping the two Nationwide races at the 1.5-mile track in Northern Kentucky in 2012.
With winning three straight races at Kentucky entering June’s Feed the Children 300, he had high hopes. Dillon won the pole for that race, his third straight at the track. He won the previous two races so it looked to be a good omen.
Also his younger brother Ty Dillon won the Truck race the night before so the odds were good for him.
Unfortunately, he finished sixth which was his worst Nationwide Series finish at Kentucky. He had to regroup and return this weekend trying to gain more points on leader Sam Hornish Jr. at a track he’s typically good at.
Dillon couldn’t deliver as he came home runner-up Saturday night to 19-year old Ryan Blaney. That meant the youngster left Kentucky Speedway with zero wins for 2013.
It’s weird to even say he was shut out but it likely was his last Nationwide start at the track as he’s expected to move up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full-time in 2014 replacing Kevin Harvick. If he does he will certainly be a big time threat in the June 2014 Quaker State 400. The last five starts at Kentucky Dillon has finishes of 1st, 1st, 1st, 6th and second. Not too bad.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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