Long before he was a Daytona 500 and Coca-Coca 600 winner, Austin Dillon enjoyed the stage of another sport – the Little League World Series.
The Richard Childress Racing driver competed in the baseball tournament in the summer of 2002 playing for Southwest Forsyth County (North Carolina) Little League. He went 1-for-4 while his team failed to secure a win.
Seventeen years later, Little League International will enshrine Dillon in the Little League Hall of Excellence. Dillon was chosen for his “dedication to the values of Little League, and for his outstanding service as a role model within the community.”
“Little League teaches you how to work with a team and put in a lot of hard work and effort,” Dillon told the Little League website. “The coach that we had taught us the importance of fundamentals and hard work, and that’s something you can take in everything you do. I still use a lot of those team philosophies that we used in Little League in everything I do today.”
The enshrinement is the highest honor that Little League can bestow.
“Each year, we look to find those men and women who have gone on from their days as Little Leaguers to take those values and life lessons they learned on the playing field to their role as leaders in the community,” said Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. “Austin Dillon has proved to be a tremendous leader both on the racetrack and as a role model for the future generation of our world. We are honored to present this award to Austin and are excited to hopefully welcome him back to Williamsport to relive the magic he experienced in 2002.”