Dillon Seizes His First NNS Victory by Decimating the Feed The Children 300 Field
Austin Dillon decimated a 43-driver NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300 field at Kentucky Speedway by leading a series track record 192 of 200 race laps en route to seizing his first series victory in his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing (RCR) car.
Dillon became the seventh NNS driver to earn a victory in a series track debut and set a new series track record for largest margin of victory when he crossed the finish line 9.828 seconds ahead of Kurt Busch in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports machine.
The 25-year-old Dillon started from the pole position and set the tone for his untouchable performance by leading the opening 81 laps. The No. 3 cycled out of the lead only twice during pit stops and closed out the stellar run by holding point for the closing 56 circuits.
"I was actually loose the whole race. I just kept getting looser and looser. I was just really driving as straight as I could trying not to slit the tires. I kind of back-steered the whole race, but that last adjustment he (Crew Chief Danny Stockman Jr.) made got me tight enough to fire off really good. We knew Kurt (Busch) was good, but our car was just stronger tonight," said Dillon, who snared his eighth top-five finish of the season and a two-point lead in the championship standings over his teammate Elliott Sadler.
Kurt Busch earned his first Kentucky Speedway NNS top-five finish in his first series start at the track. He owns a combined six top-five and 10 top-10 series finishes this season.
"I thought it was a great battle for us tonight. We started out really loose, but (Crew Chief) Mike Beam and his experience and leadership brought us to the front to contend for the lead. That being said, Austin Dillon was in another zip code. Congratulations to him, Richard Childress and his team on Austin's first Nationwide win.
"The track was really hot today for qualifying and then really cooled off for the race. We knew that the track was going to get loose but we still were just a little behind on the setup. It is my first Nationwide race here at Kentucky. To come home with a runner-up finish is something that the team can be proud of and build on," Busch said.
Kevin Harvick took third in the No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc., car, Michael Annett claimed fourth in the No. 43 Turner Motorsports car and Justin Allgaier rounded out the race top five in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports car.
Action continues tomorrow at Kentucky Speedway with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400.
Parking lots open at 7 a.m., and gates open at noon. Fans can enjoy a plethora of activities, food, displays and shopping. Bud Light artists LoCash Cowboys will take the Budweiser display stage at 3:30 p.m.
Kroger presents country music superstar Chris Young in concert at 5:15 p.m., on the frontstretch stage and multi-talented Lexington, Ky., Broadway and country music star Laura Bell Bundy will sing the Star Spangled Banner.
The green flag waves for the second NSCS race in track history at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for tomorrow's Quaker State 400 can be purchased by logging on to http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/tickets, calling 859-578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086 just off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and the newly-expanded, seven-lane Kentucky Highway 35.
Kentucky Speedway Feed The Children Extras:
Austin Dillon led 192 laps, the most laps of any NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and race winner at Kentucky Speedway. Carl Edwards held the previous NNS track record for most laps led by a Kentucky Speedway race winner at 150 - June 19, 2006. Kyle Busch held the previous NNS track record for most laps led by a driver at 162 - June 13, 2009.
Tonight's race set new NNS track records for fewest caution periods at two and fewest caution laps at 12. The previous NNS track record for fewest caution periods was four from the June 14, 2003 race. The previous NNS track record for fewest caution laps was 24 from the July 8, 2011 race.
Tonight's race set a new NNS track record for longest green flag run at 113 laps. The previous series track record for longest green flag run was 87 from the June 14, 2003 race.
Tonight's race set a new NNS track record for fewest cars to finish on the lead lap at eight. The previous record was 10 from the 2011, 2009, 2003 and 2002 300-mile races here.
Tonight's race set a new NNS track record for shortest 300-mile race time at 1:58:47. The previous record was 2:10:03 from the July 8, 2011.
Tonight's race set a new series track record for fastest average speed at 151.643 mph. The previous fastest NNS fastest average race speed was 138.408 mph from the July 8, 2011 race won by Brad Keselowski.
Story by Mike Schmaltz