Series Rookie of the Year news 2010-07-21

Consistency, Breakthrough Wins Highlight Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Battles Conway, Scott and Dillon Lead Respective National-Series Rookie Standings CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 21, 2010) -- This year's crop of drivers contending for Raybestos ...

Series Rookie of the Year news 2010-07-21

Consistency, Breakthrough Wins Highlight Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Battles

Conway, Scott and Dillon Lead Respective National-Series Rookie Standings

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 21, 2010) -- This year's crop of drivers contending for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in all three national series are gaining respect with consistent, strong finishes, which includes one breakthrough win.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 20-year-old Austin Dillon captured his first career win at the Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom at Iowa Speedway on July 11. Dillon boasts three Coors Brewing Company 21 Means 21 Pole Awards and three top-five finishes thus far. He also holds a 35-point lead in the series' Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings over second-place Justin Lofton.

Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, drives the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Silveradofor Richard Childress Racing. He separated himself in the rookie standings with a sixth-place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway in May. From there, he briefly relinquished the lead to Justin Lofton after the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 race in Charlotte, when Lofton finished 15th and Dillon struggled to a 35th-place finish.

One week later, a third-place finish at the Winstar World Casino 400K at Texas Motor Speedway vaulted Dillon back into the lead. He extended his margin after capturing his first career win at Iowa Speedway, becoming the second-youngest driver to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race behind Kyle Busch. He currently sits seventh in points.

"My rookie experience in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been good so far," said Dillon. "I've learned a lot about a lot of different tracks, and competing in the series has made me a better driver. The guys in the truck series have all helped me progress as a driver, especially the veteran drivers who have taken me under their wing. And, the fans in the series are very supportive."

Kevin Conway has used consistency and a career-best 14th-place finish to build a 150-point lead over the next eligible rookie driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Brian Scott also has established a lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie standings by posting five top-10 finishes, including a season-best third-place finish in the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway.

Conway, driver of the No. 34 Extenze Racing Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing, says part of being a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate is utilizing his valuable on-track experience during the second half of the season.

"I'm really looking forward to getting to some of these tracks for the second time and I think that's where we'll be able to increase our level of competitiveness," said Conway. "Being a Raybestos Rookie has been a huge educational experience for me trying to learn as much as I can, gain seat time and complete as many laps as I can, as well as gain the respect of our competitors at the same time."

Conway, who comes from a diverse racing background that includes in AMA Motocross, WKA go-karts, INEX Legends Cars, ASA, ARCA, USAC Midgets and Silver Crown competition, says it would be an honor to have his name etched alongside former Raybestos Rookie of the Year winners like Rusty Wallace (1984), Jeff Gordon (1993) and Tony Stewart (1999).

"Just to have an opportunity to compete for the award is a real privilege and beyond a dream come true," Conway said. "You set goals and we're in a position to reach them and it's extremely exciting. It's just so humbling to be considered along the lines of those legendary Raybestos Rookie of the Year winners. It's just an awesome program."

Scott, who drives the No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota Camry for Braun Racing, was runner-up for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008. He started the season in a tight pack of drivers before taking the NASCAR Nationwide Series lead in Rookie points with a 16th-place finish at the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in April. Scott now leads second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 23 points. He currently is 12th in the series standings.

"It was definitely a goal that we defined at the beginning of the season to aggressively go after the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title," Scott said. "So far we are just accomplishing our goal with solid runs and decent finishes. We are fortunate to have a little bit of a lead in the standings right now which lets us know if we slip up a little, we have a cushion of all the good runs to fall back on.

"I feel like once we get to the later part of the season things will really start shaping up. Hopefully we can continue to keep bringing competitive AccuDoc Solution Camrys to the racetrack and I can keep posting up good numbers so it will be pretty smooth sailing."

The Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.

-source: nascar

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