The grandson of racing icon Richard Childress may not have any wins yet this season but he did keep his points lead after a hard-fought battle at Watkins Glen International Raceway. Austin Dillon, the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, has posted seven top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes this season and has been on fire during this season’s summer stretch. With six pole wins in a seven race stretch, from Charlotte in May to Daytona in July, Dillon has been consistently fast and up front which led him to where he sits now; on top of the point standings for the third straight week.
Dillon is on track to move to NASCAR’s top tier in 2014, driving for his grandfather at Richard Childress Racing. With only two wins in the Nationwide Series, both coming in 2012, is he ready to move up and will the lingering pressure of winning the Nationwide Series title cost him the point’s lead?
After his 12th place finish in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen, Dillon holds a small three-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. and is just 18 points away from fifth place. With another road course race next weekend at a new track, Dillon and his team will need to be on their A-Game if they want they want to stay on top.
In 2012, Dillon ran his first full time Nationwide Series schedule and finished an impressive 3rd place in point standings. Going in to 2013, Dillon was pegged as one of the favorites to win the Championship with his biggest competition being Sam Hornish Jr. and Elliott Sadler.
There are 12 races left in the Nationwide Series season and still a lot of racing and competition left. Can Austin Dillon stay atop the point’s standings? If he continues to perform and run up front, Dillon can easily stay in contention for the Nationwide Series Championship when the series heads to Homestead in November. One thing Dillon will need to have before then though is a win. He has four drivers nipping at his heels for the Championship lead and two of them have wins already this season.
Austin Dillon is one of the best wheelmen in the Nationwide Series circuit and has great equipment underneath him but if he wants to hoist that trophy up at the end of the season, both he and his team are going to need to step it up a notch in these final 12 races.
With 11 top-10 finishes in the final 12 races in 2012, including a win at Kentucky, Dillon has a good stretch of tracks ahead of him to round out the season. Don’t take your eyes off of Austin Dillon; he is going to be a threat to be reckoned with.
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