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June 15, 2013

Austin Dillon's Record Run at Michigan good for Record Fourth Consecutive Nationwide Series Pole

Austin Dillon is working overtime this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, and the 23-year-old future NASCAR start doesn't mind a bit.

Dillon, the grandson of legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, qualified on the pole for Saturday's Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 with a speed of 191.882 mph for Saturday's Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

Dillon's qualifying speed was a track record for the Nationwide Series, topping last year's mark of 190.375 that Dillon set at MIS last June. It's also a Nationwide Series-record fourth pole in a row for Dillon, as Richard Childress Racing claimed the top-three spots on the grid.

"This is awesome! All of the credit goes to my crew chief Danny Stockman and the No 3 team," Dillon said after the run. "They prepare fast cars for me every weekend. It's really cool to be able to break records, and ECR gave me a really great engine package for this weekend. To see RCR 1-2-3 today is really cool."

Cup regular Paul Menard qualified second at 190.668, followed by Brian Scott (190.320), Trevor Bayne (190.310) and rookie Alex Bowman (190.230).
On Sunday, Dillon will start on the inside of row four for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Quicken Loans 400 at MIS.

“We're out here trying to break records and create a name for ourselves,” Dillon said.
So far, so good. Dillon enters this week's racing fourth in the Nationwide Series points standings, and while he's not running for points in the Cup Series, Dillon could be in line for a full-time ride with Richard Childress Racing to compete with the big boys next season.

Dillon might even bring the No. 3 with him to the Cup Series, and that number on the side of a Chevrolet -- the one that Dale Earnhardt raced in Cup -- is almost as sacred to NASCAR fans as Daytona itself.

“I think the best part is going to the track and competing against the top-level guys,” Dillon said. “There's only one Cup Series out there, and that's the highest level of motorsports in the whole world, and to be able to compete in it, it doesn't get any higher than that.

“It's unbelievable to be able to be out there racing with some legends, and also getting to be with our fans. We have the best fans in NASCAR, and to see them each and every weekend, it's a blast to know how much support that they give you.”

Dillon has more than held his own this season with three top-fives and seven top-10s in 12 Nationwide starts. He nearly got a win last week at Iowa after leading 207 of the 250 laps before getting passed late by Trevor Bayne -- another young gun hoping for a full-time shot at the next level.

"We've just got to finish one of these things off," he said.

By Mike Pryson. To read this article as it appeared at Autoweek.com: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130615/NASCAR02/130619872

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