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Dillon Earns First Truck Pole

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 3 2010

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Fort Worth, Texas – Austin Dillon stamped his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway as memorable, qualifying on-pole for Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 400k in Fort Worth.

Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Remington/Tracker Boats Chevrolet Silverado, toured the 1.5-mile TMS quadoval Thursday evening in 30.266-seconds and 178.654 mph in a truck fielded by Richard Childress Racing.

Dillon, the 20-year-old grandson of team-owner Richard Childress, scored his first career series pole in his 10th start, including eight this season.

“The truck’s been fast since we unloaded. It’s a brand new truck we brought out here,”said Dillon, whose father, Mike, is vice president of competition at RCR. “I was hoping for a top-four there and jumping to the pole was really cool. I’m trying to learn a little bit and watching some different lines and I think it helped me.”

Dillon logged a total of 61 laps during two practice sessions on Thursday before qualifying. He is the first Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate to win a pole since Johnny Sauter did so on the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 13, 2009.

“The trucks we’ve been building have been immaculate,” said Dillon, who is paired with crew chief Gary Stockman. “I really think we have some of the best trucks in the garage. When you can unload fast it makes it easier on me being a rookie. Keeping it snug, keeping it tight and working it backwards if you’ve got to free-up to get the speed that you need.

“That’s kind of been our motto every week _ just come a little bit tight to the track so I don’t get that loose feeling keeps me confident knowing I can keep it wide open for the whole run.”

Dillon’s best previous start in 2010 was third in the season-opener on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. The pole is RCR’s third in the series at TMS. Jay Sauter won the 1999 fall event here from the pole, the team’s most recent successes in the series. Sauter also qualified on-pole and finished second in the June 1999 race.

Matt Crafton will start second after hot-lapping at 30.256-seconds and 178.477 mph in the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet. Crafton posted his sixth top-10 start of 2010 and fifth in 19 races at TMS.

Native Texan James Buescher qualified third after lapping at 30.346-seconds and 177.948 mph in the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals Chevy. Buescher notched his second top-10 start at TMS and third in five races this season.

Buescher will share the second row with Todd Bodine, the series points-leader and defending event champion. Bodine, a five-time Truck Series winner at TMS, qualified fourth with a lap in 30.357-seconds and 177.883 mph in the No. 30 Germain.com Toyota Tundra.

Four-time and reigning series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. will start seventh after lapping at 177.643 mph in the No. 33 Longhorn Chevy fielded by Kevin Harvick Inc.

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, June 3 2010
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