Richard Childress Racing’s of the No 3 truck of Austin Dillon crew only slid on two tires on the final pit stop and came out ahead of Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick who had led the most laps up until that point. Dillon took only two tires under green and while Harvick battled with others for second place Dillon took off. The win at the Chicagoland Speedway in the Fast Five 225,
[media-credit name=”Bill Gutweiler ” align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]allowed the 21 year old grandson of Richard Childress to pull within 3 points of the series leader James Buescher who finished in 11th.
“This is the biggest win of my career, I think,” Dillon, said in Victory Lane. “I’ve wanted to beat those guys and everybody asks ‘How do you feel about racing against Cup drivers?’ Every time they ask me the question, I say ‘I love it’ because that proves we can go out there and run with them. It proves we can get to the next level. I’m glad when they come into the series, they are very tough to beat, they are supposed to be, and when you beat them it makes it that much better.”
“I ran up there, racing with Kyle (Busch) and Harvick. Harvick was great all night, but Stockman (Dillon’s crew chief) made the call at the end to put us out on two tires. He knows when I get out front it’s like smelling blood for a shark. When we got out there, we could just take off. The team … they kept gaining spots every time we came on pit road. I love coming on pit road when they’re like that. It’s awesome.”
The win was Dillon’s second of the 2011 season and 4th of his young career. The last four races had been won by Kevin Harvick Incorporated race trucks, a team that announced just this week that they would no longer be fielding trucks in 2012.
Harvick spoke to why he had to take four tires, “On the caution before earlier in the race around lap 85) we didn’t take any tires, so we had about 22 more laps on our tires. When you have a vibration like that, you want to win the race, but in the big picture…and the even bigger picture on Sunday (in the first Chase race) …we don’t need to blow a tire and have something happen. So when it got to the point of shaking bad enough to where I knew something was changing, I just came in and changed four tires. I knew at that point, they (the other drivers including Kyle Busch and Dillon) were going to do the opposite, but we had to change four.” Harvick led 99 of 150 laps.
Harvick, whose Nationwide Series team will move to RCR next year said, “As a driver you want to win the race, especially with a truck like that, but nine times out of 10 you don’t win ’em on days like that. But in the end, we kept it all in the family.”
Kyle Busch said after the race clearly disappointed, “Yeah, it was the right call to get us the track position. We just didn’t have the right truck tonight to keep it up front andkeep a fast truck that will hold those guys off. Just Kyle Busch Motorsports is missing something.”