Ty Dillon had 100,000 reasons to score his first career Nationwide Series win on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He drove like it, too.
Lining up second alongside Kyle Busch with just under 25 laps to go, the youngest grandson of team owner Richard Childress powered ahead on the restart and led the rest of the way despite serious concerns about running short on fuel.
Busch held on to finish second ahead of three fellow Sprint Cup Series drivers — Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.
Dillon, one of four drivers eligible to leave with an extra $100,000 courtesy of Nationwide’s Dash 4 Cash program, did just that at the fabled 2.5-mile speedway.
"Our Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet had good speed all weekend," said Dillon, a Nationwide Series rookie. "We got out front, man, and she unleashed. It was awesome."
In a true testament of grit, the 22-year-old driver spent the whole race in extreme heat after his cooling system malfunctioned at the start.
"If I passed out going into one of these corners, I was going to give it all I had," he said. "I don’t hold back. When I have an opportunity, I give it all I’ve got."
Understandably, Childress was popping with pride over his grandson’s accomplishment — especially given the extreme conditions.
"He toughed it out and he hung in there and he didn’t give up anything there at the end," Childress said.
Starting from the pole, Busch led just 10 of 100 laps and didn’t have the car to beat Dillon when it counted.
"I slipped and he got right by me," said Busch, the 2013 Nationwide Series winner at the Brickyard. "Just drove right underneath me. That was the race right there. I could maintain with him. If I could have been out front, I probably could have held him off."
The top six positions in the standings were unchanged on Saturday, with Chase Elliott now holding a four-point edge on JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith.
As is typical at Indianapolis — a 2.5-mile track known for long green-flag runs — an assortment of pit strategies jumbled up the running order, giving several drivers a stint out front.
Starting second, Kenseth blew past pole-winner Busch on the opening lap and held the top spot until Harvick seized the point on Lap 9.
Harvick remained out front until the first round of pit stops — triggered by a caution for debris on Lap 16 — but left pit road in fifth after Logano, Dillon, Brian Scott and Paul Menard each took just two tires.
Logano gave up the lead on Lap 30 with a scheduled green-flag pit stop, handing the top spot back to Harvick, who held the field at bay from Lap 30 until a green-flag stop on Lap 46, when Regan Smith briefly assumed the point for four laps.
A Smith pit stop on Lap 51 put Logano back in command and with a substantial cushion on second-place Busch, Harvick, Menard and Dillon.
Logano’s lead of more than three seconds vanished in an instant, however, when Jeffrey Earnhardt’s engine let go on Lap 55.
Harvick, Dillon, Kyle Larson and Smith chose not to pit under the caution and lined up as the top four on the ensuing restart ahead of Logano, David Ragan, Elliott, Busch, Menard and Kenseth.
From there, the cluster of pit strategies continued to play out as several drivers pitted under green over the next several laps in hopes of stretching their fuel to the finish.
A caution flag for debris in Turn 1 on Lap 72 of 100 jumbled up the running order yet again, with six drivers electing not to pit — a decision that put Busch and Dillon 1-2 on the restart, and ultimately put Dillon in position to take the lead and hold on for a hot first win — and a bountiful payday at the most famous racetrack in the world.