Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 in for first NASCAR Cup victory
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 29, 2017,
May 29, 2017, 22:23
"It hasn't sunk in yet". He was going for his first Monster Energy Cup points race victory at Charlotte Speedway just eight days after winning the $1 million All-Star Race.
"I made a mistake", he said.
"I think if we keep improving like we did with this auto, some of the things I know (competition director vice president) Eric (Warren) and his group are working on, I think we can show a different company when it comes to going into the Chase (playoffs)", Childress said. Dillon led just two laps of the race all night. "It's tough to come up short on fuel mileage, but we have been on this side of it before".
Try as Johnson might, the seven-time champion could not squeeze 105-miles out of a tank of gas. Any question about Dillon's thoughts on the win were answered with his left fist raised. "Anytime they can win it's pretty cool", he said.
Regardless of how it was accomplished, getting the No. 3 back in Victory Lane was a special moment for Richard Childress Racing.
It's been 16 years since the tragic accident at Daytona that claimed the life of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Despite questions from Earnhardt fans about whether or not Richard Childress - Dillon's grandfather - should ever bring the auto back to the track, he was justified on Sunday.
"I'm sure in the race some guys will get up there and start running through there, it's going to improve the speed in those grooves". With others like Austin Dillon - who went on to win the race - Joey Logano and Ryan Newman doing the same, Johnson was able to play with a significant lead over the dominant Martin Truex Jr. "But if we had a couple more, Kyle would've beat us". We were really, really loose. "The bottom was so slippery, I don't know what kind of race we would have had" without that sealer.
Truex's entire tenure with Furniture Row Racing has been littered with close calls. That's two out of the last three years that we lost this race on fuel mileage.
Sunday was no different.
When the race returned to green there were 47 laps remaining in Stage 2, but the delay was no issue for Truex, who led all but nine laps in his sixth stage win of the season. But when the clock struck midnight, the No. 78 turned into a pumpkin again.
His team had to push his vehicle to victory lane. They go in the corner at the bottom and they come out the corner at the top.
"Can you believe it?"
On a day where there was no shortage of huge wrecks in every notable race from Monaco to Indianapolis, the NASCAR race in Charlotte didn't disappoint. Something flew out from underneath Jeffrey Earnhardt's auto and hit the front of Elliott's vehicle, which quickly caught fire just as NASCAR was preparing going to a competition caution. Brad Keselowski attempted to brake and steer clear of Elliott's No. 24 vehicle, but couldn't do either due to the oil on the track.
What happened next was a massive collision that left both cars mangled.
Larson's struggles started in qualifying when he failed to pass pre-race inspection and was forced to start at the back of the field.
We totally eighty-sixed all that stuff we ran last week and we put in Jimmies setup just like him, Earnhardt said. On the final lap, Busch passed Truex for second. You couldn't stop and turn. You couldn't do anything. It's a real bummer for our team. Harvick was able to save his ride with a masterful slide any dirt track racer would be proud of.
"He ran good, too", Earnhardt said.
"A strong performance for the auto.", Johnson said. "I was glad to see them get it out and get it on the race track". It was just hanging. I drove my butt off, but it wasn't to be tonight.
As things went haywire, Keselowski's vehicle smashed into the rear of the No. 24 auto driven by Elliott, whose Chevy had flames in the undercarriage. A win would do wonders for Kahne, so look for him to be aggressive today.