Dillon Wins At Brickyard

“We just won the Indianapolis 500”

Young Ty Dillon had the right track Saturday, but missed the correct race by just a few months, actually winning the Lilly Diabetes 250, NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a finish that would have done that other race proud.

“It hasn’t fully sunk in yet. It’s all about attitude to win. We had the best in this division behind us, and beating the best gives us confidence,” said Dillon, who now trails Chase Elliott by just 15 points in the Nationwide championship chase.

After the race Dillon admitted that his car had been loose early on and that he had been verbal on the radio to crew chief Danny Stockman. “Our car had been fast all week and I was just complaining. It gets a little distracting but I was loose and I didn’t want to be loose. I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t hear Danny on the backstretch,” the sometimes impatient younger sibling of brother Austin admitted. “It’s kind of a scary place to be loose at. I even think I complained about the bugs on the windshield.”

Dillon, driving “Grandpa’s” No. 3 Chevrolet at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, held off Kyle Busch and some of the best that the Sprint Cup Series has to offer ; a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by “Grandpa” Richard Childress.

“I’m happy for him. To win here, especially with my grandson is cool. To race against the guys he did, and win, is unbelievable,” Childress announced. “He held off the best.”

And the best in this Case was Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs Toyota.

Busch had the lead twice, most importantly on a lap 76 restart. But it took Austin’s brother just one lap to move to the front and hold off Busch and company for the final laps; actually stretching his margin to 10 car lengths.

“Just not enough. That was the race,” said Busch who was trying to save some fuel and was also fighting a loose handling car. “There at the end I had a restart and couldn’t get through turn one. I just slipped-I don’t know what happened. He just drove right by me. If I could have been out front I probably could have held him off.”

Pit strategy, involving leading teams trying to pit late enough in order to make it to the finish, but not lose track position, shuffled the field several times, allowing Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano to move up and finish behind Dillon and Busch.

“I was loose to start a run, but half-way through the run it would get tight. I couldn’t keep the front tires turning the entire fuel run,” Kenseth lamented. “The caution fell at the right time and we could make it on fuel, but the car wasn’t as good as the top three to six cars.”

Logano thought his Penske Ford Mustang was better than Dillon’s mount, but found it hard to lead. “The car was good enough to win and we were better than the 3 when we were out front, but it’s so hard to pass here. I couldn’t pass the 20 car (Kenseth) and couldn’t do anything. We were in good shape when the caution came out; we were leading the race (laps 51-59), but some of those guys pitted earlier and cycled back up to the lead.”

Chicago race winner Chase Elliott never led here in his NAPA Chevrolet, but maintained the points lead over Regan Smith, Elliott Sadler and Dillon.

The race, run under threatening skies, was slowed by caution flags three times for 17 laps.

Dillon averaged 137.153 mph. and was 0.833 Seconds ahead of Busch at the end.

The 22 year old’s win was his first in the Nationwide Series and he joins brother Austin in the series’ victory column.

Richard Childress relished both of his roles today and had memories of past Sprint Cup wins here with drivers Dale Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick. “Those wins here were great, but today was something special. It’s tough being a grandpa-harder than being an owner.”

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