It hasn’t been the season that Austin Dillon would have hopes for in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition.
After a stellar year in his rookie season in the series in 2012, he had championship hopes for 2013. So far he sits fourth in the standings and 45 points out entering Friday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway.
He has three top fives and eight top 10′s this season but has yet to reach victory lane. That could change this weekend.
Kentucky is the spot where Dillon got his first Nationwide Series victory and a track where he’s really good. Dillon swept the two races last year there and is coming in with a little momentum with three top 10 finishes in the last four Nationwide Series races.
Dillon led 192 of the 200 laps in this very race last year and followed that up with leading another 65 in the fall. He also has made three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval and has two top 10 finishes including a runner-up in 2011.
The oldest of the two Dillon brothers, has led in all five races he’s competed in at Kentucky. He could certainly use a win or a top five finish this weekend to cut away at Regan Smith, Justin Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr. ahead of him. Outside of Allgaier, the other two have won this year and have more top 10′s than Dillon.
This could be the race where he puts together a solid string of finishes and wins the championship before likely moving to Cup racing full-time next year. The ball is in Dillon and his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing crew. Races like these where a driver is good at a particular track and capitalizing is where champions are born.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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