Posted by: Sandy Terronez, follow @sandyterronez
May 28, 2017
Austin Dillon’s No.3 DOW Salutes Veterans Chevrolet won Sunday’s 58th Annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after almost an hour and a half rain delay. He led the last two laps after the No.48 of Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas.
This is Austin Dillon’s first victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway and his first victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series.
Dillon Stated: “I was just trying to be patient with the No. 48. I could see him saving. I thought I’d saved enough early where I could attack at the end, but I tried to wait as long as possible. And when he ran out, I figured I’d go back in and save where I was lifting and it worked out. I ran out at the line and it gurgled all around just to do one little spin and push it back to Victory Lane. The good Lord is blessing us tonight and I can’t thank my grandfather (Richard Childress) enough. He’s put a lot into me. I thank ECR engines. I complain a lot, but they got me in Victory Lane tonight and the fuel mileage was great. So, thank you guys for everything you do.”
Joe Gibbs driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Red, White and Blue Toyota finished in second. Busch also won stage one of the Coca-Cola 600 and led for a total of 63 laps.
Kyle Busch stated: “This M&M’s Camry was awesome tonight. It was just superfast. I mean we had one of the fastest cars all night long and then the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was probably the fastest car. There at the end, somehow we ran him down. You know he got a straightaway out on us, but there that last 100 laps we were able to get back to him and pass him so you know that was promising for us there at the end in order to get a second-place finish, but man just so so disappointed. I don’t know. We ran our own race. We did what we needed to do and it wasn’t – it wasn’t the right game. We come up short and finish second.”
The first caution of the night came out early at lap 19 when a car part broke on the No. 33 of Jeffery Earnhardt. It left fluid on the track which caused the No. 24 of Chase Elliott to slide and slow down and the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski to get into the back of Elliott, ending all three drivers night.
Chase Elliott stated “This is so disappointing. Our NAPA Chevy was going to be all right as the night went along. But the No. 33 (Jeffrey Earnhardt) broke something, I guess, and I hit it hard and I saw some fire. And I guess I was laying down some oil all at the same time. And Brad (Keselowski) couldn’t get stopped. I hate it. It’s such a bummer. We’ll just go after it again next week.”
Caution also came out on Lap 143 when the No.32 of Matt DiBenedetto wrecked and ended up going from yellow to red when it started lightning and raining during the caution. The rain delay lasted for over an hour and a half.
Once racing finally resumed, Martin Truex Jr. won the second Stage of the race and ended up finishing the race in third position. Truex Jr. led for a total of 233 Laps.
Martin Truex Jr. stated: “Everybody on this Bass Pro Toyota did a heck of a job today. We just – we missed it a little bit on our last adjustment. I think if not for that we probably could’ve gotten the 3 (Austin Dillon). And then lapped traffic is just so tough here. There’s a few guys out there that you don’t ever know where they’re going to be when you get to the corner and it cost you so much time trying to pass them, ultimately that’s what got us. It is what it is. Like I said, we’re proud of everybody at TRD, at Toyota, Bass Pro and all the partners. Just came up a little short tonight.”
The No.20 of Matt Kenseth and the No.11 of Denny Hamlin round out the top five. Hamlin also won stage three of the race.
Pole Sitter Kevin Harvick led for a total of 45 laps in his No. 4 Mobile 1 Ford and ended up finishing in 8th position for the night.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday June 4th at 1:00 pm on FOX Sports 1.