Dillon Bassett will go in the record books as the youngest UARA-STARS Late Model Series champion to date. Bassett won the UARA championship in the final race of the 2013 season at the ripe age of 16.
Prior to Bassett, 2008 series champion Jake Crum held the honor of youngest champion at the age of 17.
After losing the 2012 Championship by only 18 points, Bassett entered the 2013 racing season with his sites set squarely on winning the UARA championship.
Heading into the last race at Anderson it was almost a flashback of the previous year’s points battle, but this time Bassett was the one with the upper hand. As long as championship runner-up Garrett Campbell did not win the race and Bassett had a top five finish, the championship would go to Bassett.
Campbell fought a hard fight, but only closed the point gap from 28 to 14 points by the end of the race. Campbell finished second, but Bassett’s fourth-place finish awarded him enough points to claim the championship.
During the 2013 season Bassett won three races, each time working his way from the back to the front. He also lead the majority of laps in two of those three races. His overall season laps lead total was 260. His season consisted of three wins, seven top fives and nine top 10s.
The season was shortened by three races. Mother Nature claimed two victories and the original season finale at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway was canceled to complete the proposed 16-race schedule.
Bassett averaged a 3.69 finish in 2013, getting very close to the 3.60 average finish Brennan Poole had in his 2011 championship year.
Bassett also accumulated quite a handful of race awards in 2013. He won the Holley Performer Award eight times during the season, awarding him passing points and an extra five bonus points for gaining the most positions.
With his three wins Bassett also won awards from Five Star Race Car Bodies, Ford and DRP. He never finished outside the top 10 this year and finished outside of the top five only twice. He also claimed awards from Circle Wheel, Tilton, JRI Shocks, WP Racing Shocks and Ultra Cool Brakes.