Ryan Millington came out of the gate swinging, winning six races and leading the national points when they were released for the first time in August.
Even though Millington and his late model team fell off a bit in the final couple of months, he still finished with the highest national points of his career, coming away third in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series standings.
"We, I’d say, had the best first half of the season out of everybody," Millington said. "We just didn’t really have the manpower and equipment and everything to keep up with them boys. It was still a really good year. We worked hard and made a lot of progress all season long. I’m just really thankful for the season we had this year."
Millington also won his second track championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. He finished the year with six wins and 20 top-five finishes in 26 starts.
Running for national points for the first time proved to be more stressful than Millington had anticipated. He got a new car for the final four races, which he said kind of threw his team "a little curveball".
The pace of the season, knowing the team had to be at the top of their game every week, added pressure.
"You can’t really sit here and think about it too much, you’ve just go to the track every week and keep racing because it can change in an instant and it definitely did just that," Millington said. "Points racing is an all year long thing. Just being able to put 14, 18, 20 races together, it’s really tough. Being able to go out and do that all year long, it takes a lot. That is the stressful part, but you can’t sit there and be comfortable with where you’re running until really the points are done at the end of the year."
Now that Millington has gotten the chance to run for a national championship, he’s ready to fight again and try to do even better in 2021. He plans to travel around to rack up points at more tracks.
He’s looking forward to going into next season with everything he and the team learned in 2020.
"I think we’ll really be able to have an excellent year next year and better this year’s result," he said. "Try to be more prepared next year instead of deciding at the last minute to do it. Just having equipment ready is the big thing, so we’re working hard on that, trying to put a new car together. Just have a better year next year than this year.
"The one thing about finishing third is you’ve always got progress to get better. We’ve been working hard the past month. We’ve been at the track 10 or 15 times just trying to get better, find speed, and really improve on what we learned this year, and I think we’ve made our stuff better so we’re just going to keep working all offseason and hopefully chase a national championship next year."