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Austin Dillon

Dillon wins dramatic Nationwide title

Date:
Saturday, 16 November 2013

Austin Dillon survived handling problems, a brush with the wall and a late restart to just beat Sam Hornish Jr to the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide title following a dramatic Homestead finale.

Dillon finished the race in 12th, but with Hornish eighth had done enough to clinch the title by just three points.

2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski won the race.

Dillon, a protege of the Richard Childress stable, had headed into the season decider with an eight-point advantage, but was on the back foot early on as Hornish led while he floundered with oversteer, at one stage falling down to 23rd.

Momentum continued to swing between the title contenders. By lap 80 Dillon was still languishing down in 16th while Hornish was third, meaning the title was heading towards Penske's 2006 IndyCar champion.

Eighty laps on and Hornish had fallen to seventh, but was still just ahead of Dillon - now running 17th - by virtue of countback only, with the pair level in the points forecast.

While Dillon was able to fight his way up the order to wrest the advantage from Hornish, things remained in the balance until Regan Smith and Jeremy Clements crashed late on, leading to a lengthy safety car period.

That turned the race into a 'winner takes all' five-lap dash, effectively denying Hornish the time to progress sufficiently through the field.

Dillon, set to step up into the Cup series full-time next year, therefore added the Nationwide crown to his 2011 Truck Series title despite not winning a race this year.

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