Saturday, November 19, 2011

2011 Camping World Truck Series Champion: Austin Dillon

The checkered flag has fallen at Homestead Miami Speedway in the Ford 200, and the champion has been crowned.  Austin Dillon came into the race with a 20 point lead, and all Dillon had to do was finish 16th or better.  Johnny Sauter, who was second in the points and trailed Dillon coming into the finale, did all he could do to make up points on Austin Dillon; he led the most laps and won the race.  But it still wasn't enough to overcome Dillon's 10th place finish, and Dillon won the championship by 6 points over Sauter.  Dillon, the grandson of car owner Richard Childress, is the first driver to win a championship in the No. 3 car since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Nationwide championship in 1999.

Austin Dillon celebrates his first Camping World Truck Series Champion (Photo courtesy Getty Images)
 His championship hopes were almost dashed with a restart with about 33 laps to go.  Dillon started second, but quickly dropped to 15th.  As he was racing mid-pack, the rain began to fall.  And, with 15 laps to go, the race was halted, and it was never resumed.  Presumably, Dale Earnhardt sent some rain down from the skies to help the 3 car return to the champion's podium.

Photo courtesy Getty Images
 Austin Dillon had a magical year in the Truck Series.  He had 10 Top 5's and 16 Top 10's behind his 2 wins, which were at Nashville and Chicagoland.  He started on Pole five times, and found himself running at the finish 23 out of 25 times.  He was able to win the championship with an average finish of 9.3. 

I said at the beginning of the season that Austin Dillon would win the championship.  He showed promise last year, and this year proved that there was no sophomore slump.  Next year, Austin Dillon will move up to the Nationwide Series and drive the No. 3 Advocare Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.  I wouldn't be surprised if we are reporting Austin Dillon winning a Nationwide Series Championship in two or three years.

Champion (Photo courtesy Getty Images)


  1. Great post, Bryan. Your writing is quite good and I enjoy your work. Thanks for this fantastic article.