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On The Way To A Championship

On The Way To A Championship

by November 3, 2013 0 comments

2013 UARA-STARS Champion Dillon Bassett was just five years old when the southeast touring late model stock car series crowned their first champion in 2002, Danny O’Quinn. With a family history in racing, Bassett was geared toward the fast life and sat behind the wheel of a racecar for the first time at eight years old. Now at 16 years old Bassett has gone head to head with late model veterans, including O’Quinn, proving age is irrelevant when breaking down experience.

0824_nascarbackyard_230x168In 2005 Dillon Bassett, the second oldest of six Bassett siblings, followed the path of his brother Ronnie Bassett Jr. and began racing Bandoleros. The racing seed had been planted in the Bassett family long before the brothers had their turn behind the wheel. Their father, Ronnie Bassett Sr. paid his dues for years racing 4 cylinders and late model stock cars at tracks across the Carolinas, standing in the winner’s circle on numerous occasions.

In 2006 Basset Sr. had a one fifth mile asphalt oval put on their property in Winston Salem, North Carolina to hone his sons’ racing skills. As Dillon Bassett logged thousands of laps around his own asphalt playground, the investment and experience proved worthwhile as he earned his first National Championship the same year.

Bandolero_Bandit_44_bassett_vlane_3-14In 2007 Dillon Bassett went on to collect three National Championships and by the time he graduated from the Legend car divisions in 2010 he had accumulated over 200 victories and 13 Championships. As Bassett continues to climb the ranks, success continues to follow.

Dillon Bassett made the move to full bodied stock cars in 2010, running four limited late model races at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, North Carolina. The following season he ran the full 15 race ASA limited late model schedule, scoring 12 victories (10 consecutively). Undoubtedly Dillon Bassett would be crowned the 2011 ASA Limited Late Model Champion and Rookie of the Year.

Last season Dillon Bassett took on the UARA-STARS schedule claiming his first victory at Hickory Motor Speedway in only his eighth start. He followed with another win at Kingsport Speedway, recording a total of 10 top 5’s in the 16 events. Bassett was crowned 2012 Rookie of the Year in dominating fashion and ended his season runner up in championship standings.

With intentions on chasing the UARA title in 2013, Bassett documented 11 top 5’s in 13 events. He upped his win total collecting three victories, earned back to back. As the final checkered flag waved for the season last Saturday at Anderson Motor Speedway, Dillon Bassett was crowned the youngest UARA-STARS Champion at 16 years old.

Not only did Dillon Bassett turn in a remarkable season on the tour, with no finishes outside the top ten, the young driver turned many heads at the prestigious Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway. In his first appearance Bassett raced up front with late model veterans, overtaking the lead for a Green-white-checkered finish. After a questionable restart Bassett was regulated to a second place finish, but his statement had already been made.

10.28 DBThere are numerous reasons why racing is important to Dillon Bassett. “We all start as nobody. But I want to prove you can make yourself unforgettable and show people that it takes a strong work ethic to get where you want to be,” Bassett said. “The feeling you get just sitting behind the wheel is amazing. Knowing how dangerous it can be, but loving it so much that you wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he continued. “It’s my home away from home.”

On and off the track Dillon Bassett has a competitive nature. He is a junior at Union Grove Christian School where he participates in basketball and baseball. Another defining characteristic of Dillon Bassett is his fun loving personality, which earned him the honors of Most Popular Driver when he competed in the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

When asked about some memorable racing moments, other than his present season, Dillon Bassett stated, “Winning my second National Championship in a row when I was Bandolero racing was special. Then my limited season at Ace, breaking the record for most consecutive wins and being the Champion was pretty unexpected when we entered the season.”

Regardless of where the racing road takes him, Dillon Bassett finds success every step of the way. He has yet to encounter a winless season and next year as he plans to move on to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour, he proves to be stiff competition.

Story Photos:Bassett Family

Feature Photo:Drew Hierwarter

Caitlin Tinius

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