Austin Dillon finishes NCWTS race at Charlotte despite Challenges CONCORD, North Carolina NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon finished a disappointing 35th in this weekends North Carolina ...
Austin Dillon finishes NCWTS race at Charlotte despite Challenges
CONCORD, North Carolina NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon finished a disappointing 35th in this weekends North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after loose left-side lug nuts caused an early race mishap for the Richard Childress Racing team.
The finish moved Dillon down three positions, to 14th, in the NCWTS point standings.
Although this weekend marked Dillons first-career appearance to Charlotte Motor Speedway, it did not take the rookie driver long to acclimate himself to the 1.5-mile speedway. Dillon was 11th in the NCWTS first practice session of the weekend on Friday morning and second overall in the second and final practice session of the day.
During qualifying on Friday afternoon, the Clemmons, N.C., native circled the Concord facility in 30.475 seconds for a speed of 177.194 mph, placing him eighth on the starting grid for Friday nights North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
The scheduled 8 p.m. race start time was pushed back three hours so that track officials could dry the racing surface after a series of heavy rain showers on Friday afternoon. When drying efforts were complete, Dillon started the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on the outside of row four.
Working with spotter Andy Houston, Dillon moved up to seventh at the start of the race but soon began to lose positions on the racetrack due to a vibration. The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Silverado suddenly veered to the left and made contact with the wall on lap 10, bringing out the first of seven cautions.
With heavy right-side damage and multiple flat tires on the black No. 3 Chevrolet, crew chief Danny Stockman advised Dillon to drive directly to the garage area so that the RCR team could begin making repairs. Upon examination in the garage area, it was discovered that the trucks left-side lug nuts were loose.
The No. 3 team spent the next 76 laps making repairs to the Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation Silverado and Dillon was able to re-join the race on lap 84.
Although he was 79 laps down, Dillon rejoined his NCWTS competitors for the remainder of the race with the goal of staying out of trouble, gaining experience and finishing the race. He crossed the checkers in 35th position.
The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is the WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 4.
The left-rear lug nuts were loose. We dont know what happened. I guess Kyle Busch had trouble with his too, before the race. I dont know if we didnt check them or if it was like that in qualifying. Its really wild. I mean, you can look at the left rear and see how much it wallowed out. I drove it for too long but I guess the rookie part of it was not knowing the vibration and not coming in a lap earlier when I felt a vibration in turns three and four. Its a tough deal. It was a little hard-headed on my part but I should have never been in the situation to begin with. The lugs were just loose and the tire came loose and it busted the wall.