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NASCAR

Ty Dillon Became A Championship Contender Throughout The 2012 Trucks Season

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In his first ever NASCAR season, Ty Dillon showed that he was not just a rookie but a championship contender.

During the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season Dillon set himself apart from the competition regardless of being one of the newest drivers within the 2012 rookie class. Not only did Dillon separate himself from his competitors but he also separated himself with his success from his brother’s shadow after hid time in the truck series.

Following his championship season in the ARCA Series in 2011, Dillon made the move to race full time in the No.3 truck of Richard Childress Racing replacing 2011 Truck Series champion Austin Dillon. Throughout his first year in NASCAR the younger of the two Dillon Brothers accomplished many features.

Throughout the season Dillon maintained himself as a top competitor, maintaining himself within the top-10 in the points all year long. In his first full time season he managed to average a top ten within starts and finishes. Dillon had an averaged 6.0 start and a 9.0 averaged finish.

Dillon was one of only three drivers to win three or more poles in the season, tied with 2012 RCR teammate Joey Coulter and Nelson Piquet Jr. had the most poles with four.

Throughout the year, Dillon led for the most laps in two occasions in races he started from the pole. For the races at Atlanta and at Talladega, Dillon led the field for the most laps and at Atlanta, that dominance led to a race win.

When the final race of the year occurred at Homestead, Dillon was on the route to capturing a championship as he and eventual champion James Buescher and Timothy Peters went into the final race competing for the title. Dillon was close to the championship until, in the final laps of the race, he was involved in a collision. His championship hopes within the 2012 season came to an end, but he did walk out of Homestead with Rookie of the Year honors.

At the end of the year, Dillon ended his first full Trucks season with three poles, one win, seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in the 22 race schedule.  Along with Rookie of the Year honors, Dillon left Homestead fourth in the final point standings.

After his performance in the 2012 season, Dillon has another opportunity at the Trucks title in 2013. He adapted to the change from ARCA to the Truck Series and was close to a championship in just his first year. The 2012 season may have not been his time, but he does have an opportunity to become a champion after accomplishing all those stats.

Christy Valdez is a member of the NASCAR Media. Follow her on Twitter @Knowursports and on Facebook at On The Sidelines With Christy