Austin Dillon earns first win at Coca-Cola 600

Austin Dillon had just enough fuel to make it across the finish to win his first career Monster Energy Cup Series race Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The No. 3 vehicle is back in Victory Lane in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series for the first time in 17 years.

Larson, the points leader, started in the back because a problem getting through pre-qualifying inspection prevented him from getting on the track for qualifying.

Dillon sped past Johnson and was able to hold off Busch and Truex Jr., who finished second and third respectively. NASCAR increased the number of stages by one since it was the longest race of the year - 400 laps, 600 miles. When Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas in the final few laps, the opportunity opened up for the underdog.

Though Truex was disappointed for not winning the race, he also knew that his day could have easily come to an end before the race was 20 laps old.

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. Truex won the second stage shortly after a restart following a 100-minute rain delay. "Everybody on this Bass Pro Toyota did a heck of a job today". "I drove my butt off but it wasn't meant to be". Whether it was a nailbiter in Daytona previous year, mishap at Kansas in 2016 or fuel mileage in Charlotte, Truex has seen so many strong efforts fall short.

The big news, though, was that next year, Charlotte's fall race will be run on the track's infield road course (or "Roval", as they call it, since it will still use the majority of the oval). We were really, really loose.

"I want to meet some of them in the parking lot", said Childress, sounding like a protective granddad.

"I didn't know we were thinking fuel", Johnson said of his team's strategy.

"And then, lapped traffic is just so tough here".

"When you have a great group of people around you, you work with the drivers", Childress said. "After we got spun out". For the 2015 and 2016 races, U.S. Grand Prix organizers were eligible for almost $50 million.

It was a frustrating way to start the weekend for Larson, who has five top-five finishes this year and a win at Fontana in March. The team started fifth but suffered bad luck early when debris from a competitor's vehicle damaged the nose of the Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry.

STAGE THREE: Denny Hamlin claimed the third stage, with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and Kenseth next behind him. He then finished fourth and second in Stages 2 and 3, respectively. The solid effort earned the team 13 additional championship points.

"It was a wild ride, for sure", the 2008 500 victor and four-time Verizon IndyCar Series driver said after exiting the track's medical center. "I think getting that damage early put us behind the 8-ball and the vehicle wasn't the same the rest of the night but we have to be happy with our best finish of the season". We got good fuel mileage all day.

Johnson limped home to finish in 17th.

"We would have liked to have run a little bit better than that for sure". Furniture Row Racing is strong right now.

"He's the ideal coach", Truex said.

The other fantastic part of the incident was that Castroneves drove under Dixon's vehicle while it was in the air.

"In my auto, (my fiancée) Whitney always writes a verse before the race". The seven-time series champion has a pair of wins already this year and I think he can make it three tonight. Teammates Truex Jr. and Jones followed, ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick, JGR's Daniel Suarez and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The next race is Sunday, June 4 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

  • Julie Sanders