Monday, February 17, 2014

A Glide Path to Success

                                             Austin Dillon

Oh, dear, I think I'm going to be sick to death of Austen Dillon before this season is over. "Austen Puts the 3 on the Daytona Pole!" I'll probably feel the same way some fans felt about all the hype over Danica Patrick last year. I know, I know. I'm not being fair. Austen is a good kid. He's a good driver. And, yes, I'd do exactly the same thing Richard Childress is doing if Austen was my grand-son and I had the resources to give him the best of everything.

It's just that I've been poor all my life and I root for and support people of my class. People who've had to overcome handicaps and hardships to try to get where they want to be. People who've had to struggle and beg for a chance instead of having it handed to them on a silver platter.

I simply prefer to see the wealth spread around a little instead of one person getting it all like Austen - Pop Pop, the team owner; the iconic number 3 car; the best equipment that money can buy; a built-in fan base, a fawning media. Anne Richards once said about George Bush - "he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." That's more or less, how I feel about Austen.

It's not that I don't think Dillon doesn't appreciate his good fortune on some level but he can't help but take it as his due because he's never known anything else. So far as I know, he's never stumbled off the glide path he was born on to the rocky road below. He's never been scraped and banged by life. He never had to worry about losing his ride as others have. Pop Pop would make sure it was there even if he had to fund it out of his own pocket.

Life has been a singular series of achievements for young Austen. The Truck Series championship - check. The Nationwide championship - check. Does anyone think he won't win the Rookie of the Year competition in 2014? That will probably be another check. And the Sprint Cup sooner rather than later. Check.

That's why I'll be rooting as hard as I can for Kyle Larson, or heck, any of the other rookies to win Rookie of the Year. But do I realistically believe Ganassi can match RC in what he gives Kyle? Nope.

I'm not usually one to make predictions but there's my prediction. Austen Dillon, 2014 Rookie of the Year. I hope I'm wrong.