Dillon Bassett Impressive in Tri-County Debut
In his first start at Tri-County Motor Speedway, Dillon Basset worked his way forward to a sixth place finish in the UARA-STARS 150 after starting 18th.
Rookie Dillon Bassett had never seen Tri-County Motor Speedway until Thursday when his Bassett Racing team showed up for practice after working through the night to finish converting the backup car into his #44 Roof Shampoo Ford.
Bassett quickly found the inside line and was able to keep his car pinned to the bottom of the racetrack during Thursday’s practice. At the end of the day he ended up 16th on the charts and was pleased with his car’s handling.
With 32 competitors on hand for Friday’s race, there was no question the field was going to be strong. In first practice Dillon was 26th and worked his way up the charts to 12th in final practice.
In qualifying Dillon Bassett was extremely loose and posted a 16.617 lap time leaving him 18th. Although disappointed with starting in the back, in perspective 18th was just about mid-pack for the 32 car field.
With crew chief Kenyon Davidson spotting for his driver, their goal was to patiently pick their way thru the field. On the start Dillon fell back a few spots to 21st by the time the first caution came out. His car was strong, but the field ahead of him was getting racy and the team wanted to keep the car clear of trouble.
By halfway Dillon Bassett raced his way to the 14th position and with 50 laps remaining was inside the top ten. The first of four late race cautions came on lap 120 when Bassett was eighth. When the caution on lap 145 set the field up for a GWC, he had worked himself up two more spots to sixth.
On the final restart Bassett got a jump on Scott Turlington’s outside and was able to clear Turlington upon exiting turn two. But instead of two more laps of racing, the caution lights displayed as cars went around in turn one. At the time of the caution, officials had Turlington scored in the fifth spot, regulating Bassett to sixth.
The team hoped to see more long green flag runs in the last 50 laps as Dillon Bassett had one of the strongest cars on the track while competitors began to backslide in the final stages. But all in all it was a good night for the 44 team, and Bassett was able to complete his night inside the racetrack as opposed to Concord.
“My team gave me a good car tonight. I thought we had a top five finish; I was around him coming off two. Regardless my crew worked hard all week and I can’t thank them enough for getting this back up car ready,” Dillon Bassett said.
The UARA-STARS have a month off before Kingsport on September 14th, where Dillon Bassett will go into still atop Rookie of the Year Standings. Dillon’s team will utilize every bit of that time to get his primary car repaired from his Concord wreck.
Keep up with Dillon on Twitter @Dillon_Bassett and @BassettRacing1.