HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Austin Dillon driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet, poses with his crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. (R)after winning the 2011 Series Championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2011 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Richard Childress Racing driver, Austin Dillon won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Friday night when the Ford 200 from Homestead-Miami Speedway was rain shortened with 15 laps to go. Johnny Sauter, Dillon’s closest competitor, won the race but just fell short of wrestling the title from Dillon.
When Dillon climbed out of his No. 3 truck to celebrate, he dived across the rain-soaked grass and then took another header on concrete. A move he calls "The Superman".
All Dillon had to do was finish in the Top 16 and he would capture his first NASCAR Truck Series championship. Boy did he play it safe. The 21 year old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress finished 10th, good enough to win the series title.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the series a year ago, Dillon became the youngest champion in series history at 21 years, 6 months, and 22 days. He is scheduled to drive full schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012 behind the wheel of a No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing.
Dillon started the race 20 points ahead of Johnny Sauter and 28 points ahead of James Buescher. He spent much of the race in the top 10, but there was a moment of concern when he fell back to 15th after a restart. That was short lived and he quickly worked his way back to the front, staying out of trouble and passing several other trucks.
"When you get down like that, all you can do is drive back to the front," Dillon said.
This is Richard Chilldres Racing’s second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship. RCR’s first came in the inaugural 1995 season with Mike Skinner behind the wheel. RCR now has 12 NASCASR National Series Championships in the case, including six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, four in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and two in the Camping World Truck Series.
Dillon was right where he wanted to be—higher enough to breathe easy and end up hoisting a championship trophy.
"It’s amazing," Dillon said. "You get to spray champagne everywhere. It’s the best feeling in the world."