Austin Dillon withstood a strong challenge from race winner Johnny Sauter to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in Friday night’s Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR called the event with 15 laps left with Sauter in the lead and Dillon in 10th place, giving Dillon, 21, the youngest champion in series history, a six-point edge in the series standings over Sauter.
Denny Hamlin finished second in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck, followed by Kevin Harvick, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Joey Coulter.
Early in the race, patience was a virtue for Dillon, who steered clear of potential complications and found a comfortable place to run at or near the back of the top 10.
As the race progressed, so did Dillon, who had worked his way into the second position behind Sauter before Brent Raymer’s spin on Lap 96 caused the fourth caution of the evening. The subsequent restart, however, brought more stress than Dillon ever could have expected.
Dillon fell back to 15th, fearing that he had a tire going flat and then that there might be a problem with his engine. Shortly thereafter, Sauter clinched most laps led, putting Dillon in danger of losing the championship if he lost more positions by the end of the race.
But Dillon drove back to the 10th position before rain halted the race on Lap 119 of 134 with Sauter in the lead.