Austin Dillon takes the win for RCR at Kentucky

Dillon sets the record for most laps lead in a Nationwide race on his way to his first win.

Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Austin Dillon), third (Kevin Harvick) and ninth (Elliott Sadler).

Dillon leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over Elliott Sadler by two points. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ranks third, followed by Sam Hornish and Justin Allgaier.

Victory lane: race winner Austin Dillon celebrates
Victory lane: race winner Austin Dillon celebrates

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

The No. 3 Chevrolet team is second in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings, 35 points shy of the No. 18 car's lead, with the No. 2 team third in the standings and the No. 33 team fourth.

Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over Cole Whitt.

Dillon set the record for the most laps led in a Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway (192 laps), surpassing the previous record set by Carl Edwards in 2005 (150 laps).

Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Team Earn Career First Nationwide Series Win at Kentucky Speedway

In a dominating performance that culminated with his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win, Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team set a record for most laps led and lapped all but six competitors in the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Dillon earned a perfect driver rating of 150.0 and inherited control of the driver championship point standings for his efforts, which marked the first time a No. 3 entry has won in the Nationwide Series since Dale Earnhardt Jr. did so in July 2010. The 21-year old Dillon earned his second pole award of the season and third NASCAR pole in as many starts at Kentucky Speedway and led the 43-car field to the green flag for Friday night's 200-lap event under the lights.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender drove to a commanding lead from the start of the race, accruing more than seven seconds between himself and the second-place car during a long green-flag run. Although he was running up front, Dillon reported to Crew Chief Danny Stockman that the No. 3 machine handled on the loose side, especially during long runs. Routine pit stops under green-flag conditions throughout the event provided little relief for the driver but handling issues did not hinder Dillon's performance, as he continued to increase his lead.

The field was grouped back together following a lap-141 pit stop under green-flag conditions in which the caution flag was displayed for debris on the racing surface just as Dillon was exiting pit road. Following the caution-flag period, Dillon led the field to the lap-150 restart and once again pulled away from his competitors, ultimately crossing the finish line 9.852 seconds ahead of Kurt Busch. With his win, Dillon took control of the 2012 Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by a slim, two-point margin over RCR teammate Elliott Sadler.

Start - 1 Finish - 1 Laps Led - 192 Points - 1

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: "What an amazing feeling to be at the front of the field and crossing the finish line at lap 200 for our team's first NASCAR Nationwide Series win. I'm so proud of the guys. We've been working really hard to get to Victory Lane in my rookie season and I feel like maybe now that we have that first win under us, additional victories will come easier. I've always said that Kentucky Speedway was one of my favorite tracks, and now it is even more so. I think the slick racing surface really suits my driving style and my dirt track racing background."

Elliott Sadler Posts Top-10 Finish Under the Lights at Kentucky Speedway

Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team battled through a loose-handling condition to finish ninth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. After starting the Feed the Children 300 from the 12th position, Sadler quickly relayed to the crew that the No. 2 Chevrolet lacked rear grip, a condition which would plagued the team throughout the 200-lap event.

Crew chief Luke Lambert called for various chassis adjustments along with fresh tires and fuel during the team's routine pit stops under green-flag conditions throughout the event. Though the changes provided little relief for the Sadler, the Emporia, Va., native maintained his position near the top-10 for the majority of the event as the condition persisted. As long green-flag runs stretched out the field, Sadler was running in the 11th position on lap 105 when race leader Austin Dillon passed him, placing the OneMain Financial Chevrolet one lap down on the field. Sadler brought the No. 2 Chevrolet down pit road on lap 141 for a scheduled green-flag stop and the crew added four tires and fuel, but the caution flag waved as the OneMain Financial Chevrolet was still on pit road, placing Sadler two laps down to the leader.

The team elected to take the wave-around, moving the No. 2 Chevrolet only one lap down in the 12th position on lap 148. As the race wound down, the Sadler and his Richard Childress Racing team continued to fight for every position and crossed the finish line in the ninth position, claiming their 11th top-10 finish of the season. Sadler now sits second in the Nationwide Series point standings, two points behind RCR teammate Austin Dillon.

Start - 12 Finish - 9 Laps Led - 0 Points - 2

ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE: "It was a disappointing night for the No. 2 OneMain Financial team. I really fought the car all night with the lack of right rear grip, but our team never gave up, and we finished ninth. We are going to regroup this week before heading to Daytona International Speedway."

Kevin Harvick Finishes Third in NASCAR Nationwide Series Event at Kentucky Speedway

Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet team finished third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway Friday night after overcoming a persistent loose-handling condition. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 200-lap affair from the second position and ran within the top five before informing crew chief Ernie Cope that the Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet had developed a loose-handling condition.

The crew worked to alleviate the handling issue through scheduled pit stops during the early portion of the race, allowing their driver to maintain a position near the front of the field. Harvick continued to run in the top five until lap 128 when he came onto pit road for a scheduled green-flap pit stop for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Before all green-flag pit stops could cycle through the field, the caution flag was displayed and the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, running in the 10th-position at the time, fell one lap down to the leader.

Harvick was the awarded the "Lucky Dog" award, placing him back on the lead lap in the sixth position for the lap-149 restart. As the race came to a close, Harvick continued to work his way toward the front of the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in the third position.

Start - 2 Finish - 3 Laps Led - 0 Owner Points - 4

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: "Man, we just got beat by our own car today. It always feels like a bad day when you don't win. It was great to see Austin (Dillon) get his first Nationwide Series win tonight, but it would have been even better to drive the Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet into Victory Lane and bring home a win for Ernie (Cope, crew chief) and the entire No. 33 RCR team, who worked so hard on this car."

Source: Richard Childress Racing

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Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Race reports
Tags chevrolet, childress, dillon, harvick, sadler