Austin Dillon won his second pole of the 2012 season Friday afternoon in the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a lap of 31.359 seconds and a speed of 172.199 mph. Kevin Harvick qualified second, Brad Keselowski started third, Sam Hornish Jr. fourth, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started in fifth.
Dillon would go on to dominate and bring the famous black No. 3, owned by Dillon’s grandfather Richard Childress, back to victory lane, scoring his first win in 26 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Dillon’s win is the first for the number No. 3 in the Nationwide Series since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won with it in 2010.
“I know Dale is smiling down to see that 3 get a win tonight,” said team owner Richard Childress.
Dillon, in the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead by as much as 9 seconds and at one point in the race, had lapped all but 8 cars, until a caution came out on lap 143 when Mike Wallace hit the wall. The caution came out during a round of green flag pit stops. Dillon restarted first and would never be challenged for the lead. He would lead 192 laps in the 200 lap event.
Kurt Busch, driving the Monster Energy Toyota owned by his brother Kyle, finished in second after starting in eighth place. Harvick finished third in the Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet.
Michael Annett scored his best ever Nationwide Series finish in 4th driving the Pilot/Flying J Ford with Justin Allgaier in fifth and Hornish Jr. in sixth.
The rest of the top 10 were Brad Keselowski, Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, and James Buescher. Danica Patrick finished two laps down in 12th. Only eight cars were running on the lead lap.
Dillon’s win broke the race record for most laps lead at Kentucky breaking Carl Edwards’ record of 150 laps lead. This race was also the fastest NASCAR Nationwide Series 300 mile event at Kentucky Speedway being with an average speed of 152.54 mph shattering the previous speed of 138.46 mph.
Dillon currently leads the points by tw0 over Elliott Sadler.
Following post-race inspection, Dillon’s car was found to be too low in the rear. Dillon’s crew chief, Danny Stockman, said, “We’ve had an issue before. We addressed it in a meeting. It should have been addressed. That’s the only comment I’ve got.”
Elliott Sadler’s team failed post-race inspection in Iowa for a similar infraction and the team was docked 6 points and fined $10,000. NASCAR has stated the penalties will be announced early in the upcoming week. If a point penalty is assessed, Dillon could lose the point lead.