March 20, 2019

Austin Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 in for first NASCAR Cup victory

30 May 2017, 04:06 | Rhonda Young

"It hasn't sunk in yet".

The inclusion of Red Byron, the first champion of what is now the Monster Energy Cup Series, is long overdue.

"I made a mistake", he said. "I gave Dakota's shoulder a little squeeze and he looked up at me with his big brown eyes and smiled and said, 'Mommy, NASCAR loves the troops'". "We're in the chase, baby".

Truex has led 756 of the past 1,200 laps in the 600, yet finished shy of the checker flag two of three times.

While Dillon may have been "handed" a victory with a fuel-mileage gamble by some fans' accounts, Dillon had to finish the race. At times, Johnson was even able to stalk the dominant Truex for the top spot. Any question about Dillon's thoughts on the win were answered with his left fist raised.

"The only groove that was there for the All-Star race was the bottom groove", Harvick said.

Team owner Richard Childress greets his winning driver.

"The only thing about Justin is I never worked with an engineer, a calm guy", Dillon said. Somebody broke in front of him and then he ran over what they broke and then he broke, so there were two cars broke in front of me and just oil everywhere.

"Having my grandson just made it that much more special. And I want to keep adding".

The No. 78 Toyota was the auto to beat Sunday night at the Charlotte oval.

According to Vegas Insider, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Martin Truex, Jr. are all co-favorites to win the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 at 11/2 odds.

"All in all, it was a great night", Truex Jr. said. "But if we had a couple more, Kyle would've beat us". "The bottom was so slippery, I don't know what kind of race we would have had" without that sealer. "So we were about halfway down the hill walking back [to the camper] and it pours and we got soaked".

All the fuel in the world couldn't make a difference now.

Truex's entire tenure with Furniture Row Racing has been littered with close calls.

"We had a lot of hard times last year, but this year, it seems to be" the other way around, Vettel said.

Sunday was no different.

Johnson inherited the race lead when crew chief Chad Knaus kept the No. 48 on track as the frontrunners peeled off for their final stops inside 35 laps to go. When you start in the back or something goes wrong and you lose five or six spots it's the patience aspect of it. "Sometimes they just don't go your way".

"Can you believe it?" He also had to endure a 1 hour, 40 minute rain delay, which started on Lap 141. Pieces went flying in a manner that would suggest Dixon could be hurt as the auto was destroyed, but thanks to the safety measures brought into the sport in recent years, Dixon didn't appear to be injured, although later in the race he returned to the med. Keselowski ran into the back of Elliott after his auto was hit by debris and caught fire. Instead, his chances ended less than 25 laps into the race when he ran over pieces of Jeffrey Earnhardts crumbling vehicle and could not gain traction as Brad Keselowski slammed into the rear of the No. 24 Chevrolet.

What happened next was a massive collision that left both cars mangled. He had to rally in the truck race a week earlier at Charlotte for a solid finish, and he found the Xfinity vehicle easier to handle in traffic as far as dirty air but he didn't find it easy to pass. "I knew we could do it, we've just got to do it more consistently". Busch led 63 laps, but fell short of victory to finish second at Charlotte. You couldn't do anything. And when he ran out, I figured I'd go back in and save where I was lifting and it worked out.

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. Harvick was able to save his ride with a masterful slide any dirt track racer would be proud of. "In '15, we picked up on that and ran better".

"Yeah, it was really insane", Kahne said.

"To put my grandson in that vehicle was unbelievable", Childress said. Either how to set the vehicle up or what I'm looking for or what I need to be doing with the auto driving it. It was just hanging. "I drove my butt off but it wasn't meant to be". Keselowski sits in the third position 82 points behind Truex.

The bold decision was even more impressive considering Dillon's crew chief, Justin Alexander, had never worked a race with the first-time victor before.

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