What a great last two month’s it’s been for NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Austin Dillon.
The youngster went from having to run perfectly and hope for a little luck with the top four title contenders to leading the championship leaving Indy.
In the last nine races Dillon has finished in the top 10 seven times with four top fives. He has three top fives in the last four races and used a Sam Hornish Jr. blown engine and a 12th place finish Saturday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to go from third to first in the standings heading into Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway.
Dillon now leads second place Regan Smith by six points and third place Elliott Sadler by 13 heading to a track where Dillon has had some good success on.
The series just raced at Iowa in June where Dillon finished second after starting on the pole. He’s finished in the top 10 in three of the last four Iowa Nationwide races and has a victory in 2010 during his championship season in the Camping World Truck Series.
Counting the Truck starts, Dillon has five top 10′s and seven top 10 starts in eight races. With how well he’s been running lately and having success on the 7/8-mile short track I’d say he’s set for another solid weekend.
After many counted him out on the title this year he’s now showing he’s not only one of the favorites but he deserves to move up to a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride for Richard Childress Racing next year.
That’s the hottest rumor going around the garage area right now since current RCR driver Kevin Harvick has announced he will go to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2014. That leaves his seat which used to be the No. 3 car driven by the late great Dale Earnhardt open.
With the anticipation that the No. 3 will return to Cup racing when Dillon is ready to move up and the ride being open starting next year, it all makes sense to move the grandson of Childress up.
It’s clear Dillon is a championship level talent. He won the title in the Truck Series and is well on his way to a title in the Nationwide Series. He moved up the ladder after his championship in 2011, if he wins this year in Nationwide does he continue his rise up the ranks?
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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