No driver has ever won a championship in different NASCAR series in consecutive years, but Richard Childress Racing's rookie driver Austin Dillon finds himself still in pursuit of that achievement. Dillon, last year's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, is still within striking distance of teammate Elliott Sadler as he sits 23 points back heading into Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race.
Texas Motor Speedway proved to be a turning point for Dillon during last year's NCWTS championship run as he was able to increase his points advantage during the WinStar World Casino 350. Dillon hopes to make up ground and put pressure on Sadler and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the championship.
"You never know what is going to happen coming down to the last three races on the schedule, but I can say for sure that our No. 3 team will be giving 110 percent," Dillon said. "We need to gain maximum points and the only way to do that is to win races. Our team has had the best average finish on 1.5-mile tracks, but we need that little bit extra in order to get to Victory Lane. We've had fast cars each week and I think if we can put together wins the last few races we will have a chance at the championship."
Dillon is riding a wave of momentum heading into Texas Motor Speedway. He enters on a streak of nine consecutive top-10 finishes and in his previous five races on 1.5-mile tracks he has one victory (Kentucky Speedway) and has finished no worse than sixth. In his most recent visit to Texas Motor Speedway in April, he earned a fifth-place finish and led 13 laps.
"I feel really good at Texas Motor Speedway," Dillon said. "That's a place where we can go out and have a shot to win. Richard Childress Racing's intermediate track package is strong and I think we'll have a great shot once again to run up front and get a top-five finish."