Austin Dillon enjoys his best run since winning the Daytona 500

Despite some late drama that dropped Austin Dillon a couple positions down the running order, he still enjoyed his first top-five since winning the Daytona 500 in February.

Austin Dillon enjoys his best run since winning the Daytona 500
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Dow Intellifresh
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Dow WE Are Innovators
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Dow Chevrolet Camaro
Race winner Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Beer
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Dow WE Are Innovators
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Dow

Dillon started the race up in the fifth position for his best starting position since Fontana in March.

However, it was his Richard Childress Racing teammate Ryan Newman that shined in early laps, rising as high as third in the running order.

But Dillon was never too far away, but he didn't creep back towards the front until the last half of the race. At the conclusion of the second stage, he was running fifth and only moved forward from there.

Following the eighth caution of the race for an incident involving his brother Ty, the elder Dillon rocked up to second position on a Lap 144 restart.

Dillon led five laps between Lap 171 and Lap 175 as he stretched the run beyond that of other top-five runners. When he ultimately did pit, the team opted for two tires.

The decision briefly put him in front of Kevin Harvick for the effective race lead, but that was short-lived. Still, Dillon held strong in the runner-up position until the waning moments of the race when a tire issue caused him to slow on track.

Despite the misfortune, Dillon still came away with his best result since winning the Daytona 500, finishing fourth for RCR.

"Man, we had a fast car," he said post-race. "I got to battle with (Kevin) Harvick there and that was awesome. I’m so proud of the guys for having a car capable of doing that. Yeah, that really stunk (regarding tire issue). We were kind of in position that if something happened to the No. 4 (Harvick) we could win the race. With two to go, I went into (Turn) 3 and I kind of missed the corner. When I came down the straightaway, it was just shaking like either the tire was unraveling or it was a loose wheelI didn’t want to lose this great finish we had in front of us, but we brought it home with a top five at least.”

With the playoffs nearing, Dillon understood the importance of putting together a strong performance as the regular season comes to a close. His teammate Newman also came away with a decent result, rebounding from a spin to finish 15th and lead 12 laps himself.

“It’s huge," Dillon said of the result. "It’s great momentum for the team. The pit crew was amazing all day. It just feels good. We have this capability when we put our best days together and we’ve got to keep doing it and work hard. And we’ve got a great opportunity this year with being in the playoffs.”

shares
comments
Even the "Big 3" have to be perfect to win in 2018

Previous article

Even the "Big 3" have to be perfect to win in 2018

Next article

Brad Keselowski: “It’s nice just to be able to have a clean race”

Brad Keselowski: “It’s nice just to be able to have a clean race”
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021