July 15, 2014

Dillon Faggart strives to continue family’s racing tradition

Dillon Faggart is a year-round athlete, participating in football, basketball and baseball, but the 16-year-old Concord resident knew he belonged in racing the first time he drove a Legend car.

Dillon Faggart is a year-round athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball for cfa Academy, but racing is where the 16-year-old Concord resident feels he belongs.

“I used to go to all of my dad’s races in the Busch Grand Nationals (now Nationwide) and it inspired me to want to race,” Dillon said. “As soon as I hopped into a Legend car I felt a really big excitement. I felt goose bumps. I knew I had to carry on the family tradition.”

The son of former NASCAR driver Robbie Faggart, Dillon began racing in the Legend Young Lions division three years ago. His first victory came in December 2013 at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw in Alamance County with new crew chief Steven Ross. He then racked up two victories in the Legend Semi-Pro division in this year’s Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“We’ve had other crew chiefs that were struggling, didn’t really know what to do,” Dillon said. “We came to Steven and he’s all about this day and night. He got us hooked up. We went to Ace with him and it was awesome.”

Faggart said his son communicates well with Ross and that was missing with the other crew chiefs they had employed to take care of their cars.

“Steven can see on the race track what the car is doing and between him and Dillon, their communication seems to be real good. They’re winning races together,” said Faggart, owner of the 240-lot Southern Hills and Woodridge mobile home parks in Concord that serve as the sponsor for the father-son Legend team.

“Dillon has always been a good little driver,” Faggart said. “I’ve seen him take bad cars, run in the top three or four and not really know what he’s doing. Now that he’s got good communication (with his crew chief), we know what we’re looking for in these Legend cars. Nothing applies to the big cars that I drove to a Legend car. These cars don’t have a sway bar in the front. They’re like floating in the water like a row boat. I know I won’t never have the feel that I’m looking for, but Dillon didn’t know any better. So from the start he took to it like a duck to water.”

Now that Dillon has victories on his racing resume, his goal is to help his father acquire a win.

“I really want to help my dad out because it’s really hard to go from a stock car to one of these and to try and drive it like a late model,” Dillon said. “He’s been struggling. He’s been getting the hang of it. I really want to help him get his first win in a Legend car.”

Dillon skipped the Bandolero division in the Summer Shootout Series when he was 13.

“We tested a Bandolero and I didn’t really like it. I wasn’t that fast,” Dillon said. “I went into a Legend. I was flying and I loved it. Me and Dad decided to buy one and see how we did.”

A tailback in football, a forward in basketball and a catcher in baseball, Dillon believes his participation in those sports keeps him in shape – physically and mentally – for piloting his race car. His racing and football endeavors briefly overlap since high school football practice starts Aug. 1. Faggart noted his son had already missed a couple of workouts.

“The coach is understanding. He’s working out,” the 53-year-old Faggart said with a chuckle.

Dillon wants to pursue his racing as far as possible.

“I’ve already talked to my dad about it and he just said we’ll have to see where it goes from here,” Dillon said. “Concord (Speedway) is my home track. I used to run there all the time. I love it. I want to get me a win down there and anywhere else. I’ve been talking to my crew chief about it (racing at other tracks) and he says I’m ready.”

However, until Dillon graduates from high school, Faggart said they would continue on their current path.

“Every season we have a sport and the summertime is the season for racing,” Faggart said.

Another victory for Hemric

Kannapolis resident Daniel Hemric captured his fourth PASS South Super Late Model victory during the Fourth of July weekend, but it was not without controversy.

At issue was Hemric’s Carswell Motorsports teammate Denver Foran stopping on the track with 22 laps remaining to bring out a yellow. The caution period occurred when Hemric was a few car lengths away from losing a lap to the leader.

PASS officials suspended Foran indefinitely for “attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race.” Hemric was fined and placed on probation for the rest of the season, but allowed to keep his Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway victory.

Midland’s Jared Irvan rounded out the top five with his fifth-place finish.

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