Dillon sweeps Nationwide action at Kentucky
Austin Dillon got his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet by the No. 2 of teammate Elliott Sadler during a cycle of green-flag pit stops on lap 145 to take the lead in the 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Saturday and drove on to the win. He also won the previous event at the track in July.
"We brought the same car back," Dillon said in victory lane.
It's all about how bad you want it," Dillon said. "And I want this championship real bad right now.
Sam Hornish finished second in the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge and Brendan Gaughan was third in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
"I got better as we went along," Hornish said. "It started off really free. We didn't get it tight enough until that last run."
At the previous race at Kentucky, Dillon led all but eight of the 200 laps that made up the race and sailed to what appeared to be an easy victory.
"This one wasn't easy," Dillon said.
Dillon started on the pole but lost the lead to the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the start of the race. Stenhouse went on to lead until a competition caution came out on lap 30.
Stenhouse made contact with the No. 14 TriStar Motorsports Toyota of Eric McClure on pit road during the caution, and as a result, went from the lead to restarting the race from the 23rd spot.
The race got worse for Stenhouse from there. He wound up scraping the wall and then pitting with a flag right rear tire under green on lap 50. Stenhouse eventually went three laps down.
"Just made too many mistakes today," Stenhouse said.
As Stenhouse's day went from bad to worse, things lucked up for Sadler. Sadler moved into the lead on lap 47 and began dominating the race. He went on to lead 90 laps before losing power steering.
"We lost our power steering," a dejected Sadler said. "We had them killed, man. Nobody could touch us today. We were so freaking fast."
Without power steering, Sadler fell back through the field somewhat, but he was able to get back into the top-five in the closing laps to finish fifth. When Sadler's issues started, his teammate took over. Dillon led a total of 65 laps, and with the win, moved to within 19 points of the championship lead.
Dillon still sits third, behind Sadler and Stenhouse. Sadler was able to take advantage of Stenhouse's troubles to reclaim the points lead Stenhouse took from him a week ago at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Sadler now leads Stenhouse by four points. Stenhouse finished the race 17th, three laps down.
Drew Herring finished fourth in a rare appearance behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Finishing sixth through 10th were Cole Whitt in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Michael Annett in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Justin Allgaier in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge and Brad Sweet in the No. 38 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet.
Story by: Amanda Vincent NASCAR Correspondent