Austin Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 for first NASCAR Cup victory

  • Austin Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 for first NASCAR Cup victory

Austin Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 for first NASCAR Cup victory

The No. 3 auto is back in Victory Lane, as Austin Dillon went the final 70 laps of the 600-mile race on a single tank of fuel.

Dillon becomes the seventh different driver to score his first career Cup Series victory in the Coca-Cola 600, joining David Pearson (1961), Jeff Gordon (1994), Bobby Labonte (1995), Matt Kenseth (2000), Casey Mears (2007) and David Reutimann (2009).

Truex made up most of a deficit of about 10 seconds, but it used up his Toyota to an extent he couldn't get to Dillon to take back the lead.

Xfinity Ryan Blaney demonstrated his improving patience and made sure that Kevin Harvick's misery at Charlotte Motor Speedway continued.

Harvick earned his third Cup Series pole of the season, his first ever at Charlotte, with a fast lap of 193.42 miles per hour.

The eldest grandson of team owner Richard Childress became the seventh driver to claim his first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Coca-Cola 600 - stock auto racing's longest race - and the 10th overall to garner his first career win at the 1.5-mile track.

It has been that kind of season for Busch, who has not won a Cup race since the Brickyard 400 last July. NASCAR officials had stopped the race to observe Memorial Day's National Moment of Silence.

"I was trying to be patient", Dillon said.

Dillon drives the legendary No. 3 vehicle, and on Sunday night, his paint scheme was reminiscent of the late, great Kannapolis native Dale Earnhardt's old ride. "And I am glad to add to the legacy of it".

"We had a good 5-hour ENERGY Camry tonight", said Jones. That's two out of the last three years that we lost this race on fuel mileage.

Dillon's strategic move - championed by new crew chief Justin Alexander - put the fourth-year driver in position to win when Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel on Lap 399. "So that's a little tough to swallow", he said. "I ran out at the line and it gurgled all around just to do one little spin and push it back to victory lane".

On a day where there was no shortage of huge wrecks in every notable race from Monaco to Indianapolis, the NASCAR race in Charlotte didn't disappoint.

The Cup Series points leader's run at a Coca-Cola 600 championship ended late in the third stage when he hit the wall in turn three at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It was a frustrating way to start the weekend for Larson, who has five top-five finishes this year and a win at Fontana in March. "When I got emotional, I looked up, when I looked up and seen the 3 on top of the board, I was standing there doing an interview, that's when I got emotional".

Larson also had some bad luck at the All-Star race last week. Instead, his chances ended less than 25 laps into the race when he ran over pieces of Jeffrey Earnhardts crumbling auto and could not gain traction as Brad Keselowski slammed into the rear of the No. 24 Chevrolet. The races themselves were changed when stages were introduced this season, and that has bode well so far, making the races more exciting from start to finish.

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"I think it was a huge factor". Busch ('06, '15), Newman ('02, '05, '11), Keselowski ('11), Bowyer ('07, '10) and Kahne ('12) have previously won Cup races at NHMS.

After Jeffrey Earnhardt experienced issues that led to oil and a part dumping on the track, Chase Elliott appeared to run over it and his auto caught fire.

The debris knocked a hole in the nose of Elliott's vehicle, and flames erupted beneath the engine compartment as fluid spilled from the Chevy.

Both Elliott (second) and Keselowski (10th) qualified inside the top 10 and were battling up near the front while Earnhardt was in danger of going a lap down. He ran in the teens most of the night before finishing 10th.