Dillon claims Coca-Cola 600 with JJ out of gas


This also marks the first Cup win for the famed Richard Childress Racing 3 vehicle since Dale Earnhardt's final win at Talladega in 2000. It was the first victory for the No. 3 auto since October 2000 when Earnhardt won at Talladega.

A two-time victor on the Xfinity Series circuit, the highest Earnhardt has finished in a year on the Cup Series is third (in 2003).

But at the Coca-Cola 600, the grandson of Earnhardt's vehicle owner, Richard Childress, brought the iconic No. 3 back the winner's circle in style, as Austin Dillon claimed the checkered flag in Charlotte.

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.

Dillon, the grandson of Hall of Fame vehicle owner Richard Childress, was among several drivers who chose not to pit down the stretch.

Dillon has relished running that number since he began his stock-car career.

"Can you believe this? the Coke 600, Austin Dillon, the 3", Childress said. Slugger Labbe was replaced atop the 3 pitbox the previous week.

"I think it shows he deserved to be in the 3", Childress said. "I'm just glad to add to the legacy of it".

Despite the fact that he led a race-high 233 laps and did not win, either, Truex was more accommodating and philosophical about coming out on the wrong end of a fuel-mileage gambit that was won by first-time race victor Austin Dillon.

"It hasn't sunk in". I don't know. There's nothing we could've done different."There was just oil everywhere", Keselowski said. We're in the Chase.

Busch won the first 100-lap stages, while Truex and Harvick ran second and third, respectively. "I ran out at the line and it gurgled all around just to do one little spin and push it back to Victory Lane". Hamlin had a fast pit stop on Lap 296, getting out ahead of Truex and Jimmie Johnson to take the lead for the first time.

Johnson inherited the race lead when crew chief Chad Knaus kept the No. 48 on track as the frontrunners peeled off for their final stops inside 35 laps to go. “So thats a little tough to swallow, ” he said. Truex led 233 laps while Busch was out front for 63 circuits of the 1.5-mile track.

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Johnson limped home in 17th.

"Our guys did a great job - Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everybody brought me a really fast auto", he said. Larson had only one finish outside of the top 25 this season until Sunday when he finished 33rd. Pole sitter Kevin Harvick led the most laps (42), but Busch passed him late in the first stage for the playoff points. But Harvick, who won here in 2011 and 2013, held strong to end in eighth. Instead, he started 39th when he couldn't take a qualifying lap Thursday because of trouble clearing inspection.

The rain delay lasted for over an hour and a half before the race was resumed with 257 laps to go. Larson had not finished worse than 17th this season.

Larson said he got loose in Turn 3 to end his race.

It was a devastating at the time for Earnhardt and took him weeks to get over, but he now says the loss "doesn't weigh on him much".

Martin Truex Jr. has Charlotte Motor Speedway figured out. 1 time for 2 laps; P. Menard 1 time for 2 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 2 laps; Kurt Busch 1 time for 1 lap. Jones is a teammate of Truex Jr., who Johnson spent much of the early stages of the race chasing.

EARLY DAMAGE: Brad Keselowski plowed Chase Elliott from behind on Lap 19 when Elliott's No. 24 Chevrolet ran over a part from a damaged vehicle and slowed drastically on the front stretch.

NASCAR's longest race of the season became even longer, expected to run well past midnight. "It's just disappointing", Elliott said.

Dillon is the 10th different Cup Series victor in 2017.

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. I hate it. I don't really know what you do about stuff like that.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk. "But there are so many things you have to do right to win these races".