Austin Dillon used his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet as a classroom of sorts on Friday night, putting on a Kentucky Speedway racing clinic in the Feed the Children 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the track on his way to his first series win.
"I'm just very excited," Dillon said in victory lane of notching Nationwide Series career win number one.
That was domination man. That was awesome.
Kyle Busch dropped a cylinder in his No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in the final laps before finishing a distant second. Dillon's RCR teammate, Kevin Harvick in the No. 33 Chevrolet, finished third.
"We had it dialed in at the end (before the engine issue), but we were still in a different zip code," Busch said.
When Dillon took the white flag for the final lap of the race, he had a cushion of more than nine-and-a-half seconds on second-place Busch. Dillon led all but eight laps in the 200-lap race.
"That was domination man," Dillon said. "That was awesome."
The only two times Dillon fell out of the lead was during two cycles of green-flag pit stops, first on lap 82 and again on lap 141.
"I was loose the whole race, but that last adjustment he got it tightened up so I could fire off," Dillon said of the changes crew chief Danny Stockman made to the car on the lap 141 pit stop.
By the end of the race, only eight cars were on the lead lap. Michael Annett finished fourth in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet.
The only other three cars on the lead lap at the finish where the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge of Sam Hornish Jr. in sixth, the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge of Brad Keselowski in seventh, and the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in eighth.
Both Keselowski and Stenhouse had to overcome early-race issues on pit road. Keselowski's crew had an issue with a lug nut during a stop during the lap 25 caution, resulting in a penalty from NASCAR.
During the lap 82 cycle of green-flag stops, Stenhouse slid into his pit stall at an odd angle, making it hard for his crew to change the left front tire on the No. 6 car and requiring Stenhouse to back up before being able to pull out of his pit.
With the win and accumulation of all bonus points available to him, Dillon took the series championship points lead from Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Sadler, fighting an ill-handling race car all race long, finished ninth, the first car off the lead lap.
Winning car failed post-race inspection
Shortly after the race, the story broke that Austin Dillon drove his Chevrolet to his first victory, the news came that the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing did not pass post-race technical inspection by the NASCAR officials. Per NASCAR, the rear height of the car was too low.
The sanctioning body for the Nationwide series will announce the penalty at a later late. The normal penalties consist of a loss of owner points and a monetary fine.