Talladega: Austin Dillon race report

RCR's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Team Finishes Eighth at Talladega TALLADEGA, Alabama (October 30, 2010) -It was mission accomplished at Talladega Superspeedway for Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team, as...

RCR's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Team Finishes Eighth at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Alabama (October 30, 2010) -It was mission accomplished at Talladega Superspeedway for Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team, as the 20-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie gained valuable drafting experience and posted a solid eighth-place finish in Saturday's 250-mile NCWTS race.

Despite the top-10 finish, Dillon dropped one position, to fifth, in the NCWTS championship point standings with three races remaining this season. He is just seven points in arrears to Matt Crafton in fourth, and leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.

The No. 3 team's race weekend began with a two-hour practice session on Friday in which the Danny Stockman-led team worked on making the black Chevrolet as fast as possible for Saturday's race. Dillon ended the practice session fifth on the speed charts and felt prepared for Saturday's 250 miler.

During qualifying on Friday afternoon, Dillon earned a third-place starting spot for Saturday's race with a 52.942 second lap around the 2.66-mile tri-oval at a speed of 180.887 mph.

Starting on the inside of the second row in front of an estimated 55,000 race fans, Dillon hugged the inside line and became part of a four truck break-away as he ran in second in the early stages of the race before the first of five caution flags was displayed on lap 24.

As Dillon was riding around the track at caution speed, he reported that the No. 3 was running out of fuel, prompting the team to pit before pit road was open for four Goodyear tires and fuel. The team quickly determined that it was a fuel pickup issue and not a lack of fuel that caused the problem, and advised Dillon to ride around the flat part of the track during future caution laps to help alleviate the problem.

As soon as pit road was opened, the rest of the field pitted, allowing Dillon to lead a lap and gain five valuable bonus points in the championship point standings. However, just before green flag racing resumed, he made a quick trip down pit road to top off fuel, and therefore restarted 20th on lap 33.

Dillon hugged the inside line for the majority of the race, working his way to the outside line on select occasions in order to gain experience. He was running 10th when the caution flag was displayed on lap 61, prompting Stockman to direct the High Point University sophomore down pit road for four more tires and fuel.

Restarting fourth on the outside line on lap 64, Dillon continued to hug the inside line and escaped a lap 75 multi-car wreck in turn one with just slight damage to the rear end of the No. 3.

With the rear end of the No. 3 pushed up from the lap 75 on track contact, Dillon found that his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet was quite fast, and was running fifth when the red flag was displayed with just three laps remaining.

When green flag racing resumed, Dillon hugged the low line and was running fifth as he pushed another truck through the tri-oval, but dropped several positions in the running order when he jumped out of line to try the high side and crossed the checkers in eighth.

Kyle Busch earned his 22nd NCWTS victory by just 0.002 seconds over Aric Almirola. Johnny Sauter was third, followed by Matt Crafton and Ricky Carmichael.

The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is the Texas WinStar Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, November 5th.

AUSTIN DILLON: "I'm a little bit mad at myself for giving up the bottom line at the end of the race. I think we would have had a shot at the win, or to push Johnny [Sauter] by him for the win. I wanted to have Hornaday or Schrader up there, but that was a terrible wreck there and I'm glad Hornaday is okay. I'm mad at myself for not sticking to the bottom. That's what my crew preached to me all day, but I gave it up there at the end. I was pushing them through the tri-oval, but the truck gets so free there that I gave up just a little bit in the center of the corner. I was pushing the right-rear quarter panel and I wanted to square up, but I couldn't get it turned back left good enough, and the 88 slipped in there, and that's what gave the race away for us. I learned a lot so I know when I go to Daytona what I have to do, and what I have to do when I come back here. This kind of racing is a lot of fun, I know that."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing