Being a NASCAR driver wasn't a real priority for Austin Dillon, when he was playing in the Little League World Series 11 years ago.

Dillon played for a team representing Forsyth County, N.C.

"It was a great time," Dillon recalled Friday prior to qualifying for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. "I thought I was going to be a baseball player for the rest of my life - and I'm sitting in the media center for a NASCAR Cup race this weekend."

Dillon is filling in for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Tony Stewart, who is recuperating from a broken right leg. Dillon, who is the points leader on the Nationwide circuit, said he still keeps in touch with some of his teammates from baseball and even invites them to races.

"It's a fun time of the year and I always love watching it," Dillon said about the Little League World Series. "It's special and it's always a good time for a bunch of 12-year-olds."