Dillon Bassett Holds Steady with Top Three Finish
Rookie of the year leader Dillon Bassett had a solid weekend at Caraway Speedway. After qualifying third, Bassett ran a good race and brought his car inside the top three.
Dillon Bassett seems to have a lucky number at Caraway, the number three. Bassett had his best qualifying effort of the season inside the top three and brought this car home with a solid third place finish in the UARA-STARS Racing Electronics 150 at his family’s home track.
Bassett had been looking forward to this race after a disappointing finish at Newport two weeks ago. Bad luck is inevitable in racing and his team had to call it an early night due to a broken hub.
Going into the speedway on Saturday the Bassett Racing team was already off to a good start. They had a strong test session last week and were among the top five in Friday’s practice. Nearing the top on speed, the focus for Saturday was on the car’s long run handling.
Even with the car a little snug, Dillon Bassett topped the charts in first round practice and stayed in the top three during final practice.
One area for improvement in the young driver has been on qualifying runs and he hoped to finally crack the top three. Mission accomplished. Dillon Bassett posted a quick lap during his two lap run with a 17.241, narrowly missing the pole by two-hundredths of a second, but placing himself third.
With three rookies taking the top three starting spots, it proved just how talented this season’s UARA rookie class is. The 15 year old may have less on track experience, but the pressure is something Dillon Bassett has learned to deal with and keep composed for the full 150 lap event.
With a great starting spot for drop of the green, the objective for Bassett was to keep his #44 Roof Shampoo Ford up front, but not wear his tires out so he could have a strong finish. By lap 25, he settled in the fifth position, alternating between fifth and sixth until the halfway point. With 50 laps remaining, Bassett placed himself back in the top five.
Battling for the fourth position with 35 laps to go, Bassett and Ben Rhodes made contact getting Dillon lose off turn four. Bassett made a great save and settled back into sixth. With ten laps remaining he was fifth when his brother and Rhodes had contact sending Rhodes for a spin. The field was set up for a green-white-checkered finish which allowed Dillon Bassett to bring his car home third.
“I was excited to get on track and ready for the race. My team put a good car under me and I can’t thank them enough for their time and effort. It was a great run, and now we just need to keep it going,” commented Bassett.
Despite one DNF and some hard luck, Dillon’s Bassett Racing team remains focused, taking one race at a time and continuing to do exactly what is needed to maintain his rookie lead and points standing.
The next stop for the UARA-STARS is Concord Speedway this weekend. Dillon Bassett hopes to carry momentum from his solid night at Caraway for another top five finish, and continues to look for victory number two. The team will hit the track Friday for practice sessions.
Catch Dillon Bassett, alongside Ronnie Bassett Jr., on-air Thursday for WHKY Sports Talk with Jason Savage. Tune in Thursday 7-8 PM online at www.whky.com/sports_talk.asp
Follow @Dillon_Bassett and @BassettRacing1 on Twitter.