Dillon cruises to Truck Series win
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP)
Dominating the action from start to finish, Ty Dillon ran away with Friday night's WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 130 of the 147 laps in the 20th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season.
The driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet pulled away from Johnny Sauter after taking the lead for the final time on Lap 117. Dillon was shuffled back to third after a restart on Lap 107 but overtook Ryan Blaney for the top spot 10 laps later.
Sauter passed Blaney for the second spot on Lap 121, and Blaney subsequently faded to 15th at the finish. Ron Hornaday Jr. ran third, followed by Brendan Gaughan and Justin Lofton.
"I wasn't going to let this race get away from me," said Dillon, who rallied from a rough week at Martinsville, where he and Kevin Harvick wrecked during close racing and exchanged pointed barbs thereafter. "It's happened too many times this year, and I was going to do whatever it takes."
The victory was Dillon's second of the season and the third of his career. He finished 2.663 seconds ahead of Sauter after holding a lead of more than three seconds during the closing laps.
About the only anxious moment for Dillon had come on Lap 99, when the engine in Kyle Busch's No. 51 Toyota blew as Dillon ran right behind him.
"I didn't know if I was heading for the wall or what was going to happen," Dillon said. "But, luckily, I don't think he put down too much oil, and I was just below him, just to keep from getting in it."
After small air-pressure adjustments throughout the race, Sauter's No. 98 Toyota loosened up a bit too much during the final 41-lap green-flag run.
"Ten laps into that last run we were just a tick too free," Sauter said. "I don't know if we ever had anything for the 3 truck, though. We've won here before, and I was running a harder, faster pace than I ever have. So their truck must have been phenomenal."
Series leader Matt Crafton came home 10th and holds a 46-point edge over sixth-place finisher James Buescher and 47 points over Dillon with two races left in the season. Crafton can wrap up his first series title with finishes of 18th or better in the final two races.
Crafton can lock up the championship next Friday at Phoenix if he finishes the race with a lead of 49 points or more. He needs only a 41-point edge if he takes the green flag the following week at Homestead.
Rookie Darrell Wallace Jr., last week's winner at Martinsville, finished seventh, followed by Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley and Crafton.
The victory was the 100th across all three of NASCAR's top touring series for No. 3 vehicles fielded by Richard Childress Racing.