Tough Night at Bristol for RCR's Austin Dillon BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 18, 2010) --Austin Dillon started 11th and finished 17th in Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The undesired ...
Tough Night at Bristol for RCR's Austin Dillon
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 18, 2010) --Austin Dillon started 11th and finished 17th in Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The undesired result ended a streak of eight consecutive top-10 finishes and dropped Dillon two positions, to seventh, in the 2010 point standings. He still leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with nine races remaining in the series.
Dillon's career-first appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway proved challenging right from the start. After posting the eighth-quickest time during the first of two practice sessions on Wednesday morning, the 20-year-old rookie made contact with water barrels at the entrance to pit road, and the RCR team thrashed to repair the splitter and front end of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet before the second and final practice session of the day. During final practice, Dillon was able to post the 12th-quickest time before rain showers caused officials to halt the session.
During pole award qualifying on Wednesday afternoon, Dillon circled the world's fastest half-mile in 15.766 seconds at a speed of 121.705 mph, placing him 11th on the starting grid for Wednesday night's 100-miler.
Starting on the inside of row six, Dillon worked with spotter Andy Houston to move forward in the field. However, the 20-year-old High Point University sophomore battled a tight chassis in the initial laps of the race and brushed the outside wall on lap six of 200. Damage was minimal and Dillon continued on, running 12th at this time.
On lap 19 of 200, another truck spun directly in front of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and, with no where to go, Dillon made contact. Crew chief Danny Stockman guided Dillon down pit road on two separate occasions during the ensuing caution period, allowing the team to evaluate the damage, take on right-side tires, one can of fuel and pull out the right-side fender, all without losing a lap.
Dillon was scored in 31st position for the lap-27 restart, but green-flag conditions did not last long as the caution flag was displayed again on lap 30. Stockman once again guided Dillon down pit road, evaluating the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for possible overheating. The team determined that the Black No. 3 was fine and Dillon restarted 27th.
The fourth of 13 cautions was displayed on lap 37, and many teams took the opportunity to pit. However, Dillon stayed out and was able to gain precious track position, advancing to 21st in the running order for a lap-42 restart.
However, shortly after the restart, another truck spun directly in front of Dillon in turn-two and, once again, he had no where to go. Stockman made the call to pit during the ensuing caution for four Goodyear tires and to remove the splitter, which was damaged in the incident, from the truck. The Bass Pro Shops team did what they could to repair the truck without losing a lap, and made an additional pit stop during a caution two laps later to remove the rest of the splitter.
Dillon pitted again on laps 65 and 85 for chassis adjustments aimed at making the truck looser, since the absence of a splitter affected the down force of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. During the lap-85 pit stop, Dillon advanced eight positions, and restarted 18th on lap 96.
A long green-flag run ensued, causing Dillon to go one lap down, while remaining in the top-20 in the running order.
When the caution flag waved on lap 131, Dillon pitted for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment, but was too fast exiting pit road and therefore issued a penalty by NASCAR officials. Restarting at the tail end of the longest line in 21st position, Dillon continued to face downforce issues. On lap 154, he was running 23rd when he went two laps down. He pitted for the ninth and final time of the night on lap 187, taking four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment, and restarted 22nd on lap 193.
A multi-truck incident in the closing laps of the race resulted in a nine-minute red flag and extended the race six laps past the advertised distance. Dillon restarted 15th for the green-white-checker shootout but another competitor ran into him, causing a three-truck incident in turn-four on the final lap of the race. Dillon finished 17th.
Kyle Busch earned his third NCWTS victory of 2010, while Aric Almirola finished second. Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner and Justin Lofton rounded out the top-five.
The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, August 27.
"I guess it was one of those rough Bristol nights. I don't know what happened there at the beginning. They just collected us in the wreck and that's what Bristol is known for. It wasn't anything of our doing. We kept fixing the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and the guys did a good job of keeping us on the track, and I'm proud of them for that. "