Austin Dillon Wins the 600 For His First Cup Victory
Dale Earnhardt was a 3-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 in his #3 Chevy. And it wasn't until 24 years later that a #3 Chevy would win NASCAR's longest race again.
Over the weekend Austin Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, held off a fast-charging Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. to win not only one of the sport's premier events, but his very first career Cup race. The key to the win was a gamble that paid off. Dillon was one of eight drivers that stayed on the track when most of the contenders came to pit road on Lap 368 of 400.
One of the other drivers who stayed on the track was Jimmie Johnson who held a sizeable lead until his fuel ran out giving Dillon the lead. From there it was a matter of whether Dillon would have enough gas to finish and he did, just barely.
Dillon led only two laps, the last two and had just enough fuel to do a quick burnout before the engine shut down. They pushed the car back to victory lane.
Kyle Busch finished second with Truex coming in third. For the third straight year Truex led the most laps, 233, more than half the race, but during that span he has just last year's win to show for it. He also won the second of four stages in the race and with it takes over the series lead by five points over Kyle Larson.
Two top cars were out of the race early when a large piece of debris from the car of Jeffrey Earnhardt's car punctured the front end of Chase Elliott's car sending fluid all over the track. Brad Keselowski got caught up in the fluid, couldn't stop and plowed into the rear of Elliott's car destroying both of them.
Rain caused a nearly 1-hour 40-minute delay in the race and as a result the finish didn't come until almost 12:30 am.
Earlier in the day Japanese driver Takuma Sato held off Helio Castroneves to win the Indy 500 leading a Denver sportswriter for the Denver Post to tweet:
"Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend".
That comment generated huge criticism and got him fired. Terry Frei deleted the tweet and replaced it was an apology.
For car owner Michael Andretti it's his third Indy 500 win in the last four years.
Pole sitter Scott Dixon was involved in a scary crash when he couldn't avoid the car of Jay Howard, sending Dixon sailing thru the air into a crash fence and landing upside down. Both drivers walked away from the crash uninjured.