Formula 1
The Latest: Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 for first Cup victory
Formula 1

The Latest: Dillon wins Coca-Cola 600 for first Cup victory

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 12:26 p.m. ET

The Latest on motorsport's biggest day (all times local):

12:28 a.m.

Austin Dillon gambled and won.

Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night when he stayed out instead of pitting and made it to the finish line ahead of Kyle Busch. Martin Truex Jr. was third after leading 233 of 400 laps.


It was Dillon's first NASCAR Cup victory and returned the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet - owned by grandfather Richard Childress and driven to fame by Dale Earnhardt - to victory lane.

''I was trying to be patient,'' Dillon said. ''I thought I had saved enough (gas) early. When Jimmie (Johnson) ran out I went I went back into safe mode to save gas.''

Dillon celebrated by diving head first into the infield grass.

''That's two of the last three years that we have lost on fuel mileage and that kind of stinks,'' Truex said. ''I drove my butt off but it wasn't meant to be.''

Johnson was looking for a record-tying fifth Coca-Cola 600 win, but he ran out gas while leading with two laps remaining.


11:19 p.m.

Denny Hamlin won the third stage of the Coca-Cola 600 in a race that has been dominated so far by Martin Truex Jr.

Truex has led 195 of 300 laps.

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. He beat Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the restart and held off Kyle Busch to win the stage.

Kyle Larson, who has been consistent all season, is looking at his worst finish of the season after hitting the outside wall when a tire went down. Larson had severe damage to the right side of his car and had to take the No. 42 Chevy behind the wall.


10:19 p.m.

Defending champion Martin Truex Jr. has won the second stage of the Coca-Cola 600.

It is his sixth stage win of the season and he leads all NASCAR drivers in playoff points.

Truex, who led 392 of 400 laps last year, has been impressive again. Truex has led 108 of 200 laps as the race reached the midway point following a 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay.

''We are trying to repeat what we did last year,'' Truex said told Fox from his car during a break in the action. ''The car isn't handling as good as it did last year, but the guys are making adjustments.''


10:04 p.m.

Ryan Blaney's chances of winning the Coca-Cola 600 have ended.

Blaney, the winner of the Xfinity Series race at Charlotte on Saturday, took his No. 21 Ford behind the wall after breaking a left rear axle on pit road. Blaney took on tires, but struggled getting his car moving as he tried to leave his pit stall.

Blaney dropped five laps behind before returning to the track.


9:48 p.m.

They're back racing at Charlotte.

The Coca-Cola 600 has resumed following a 1-hour, 40-minute delay because of lightning and rain.

Martin Truex Jr. was leading with 257 laps remaining when the race was interrupted. The cars made 10 laps under caution and pitted before NASCAR dropped the green flag.

Truex is followed by Jimmie Johnson in second, Kyle Larson in third and Kyle Busch in fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running 13th. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Jeffrey Earnhardt are out of the race following a crash 20 laps in.


9:10 p.m.

Kyle Larson optimistically said he was looking forward to ''passing a lot of cars'' when he failed to pass pre-race inspection and was forced to start at the back of the field for the Coca-Cola 600.

Larson will start third when the race resumes after a lightning and rain delay, a 36-place improvement from where he started the race. There are 257 laps remaining in the 400-lap race.

Larson had one of the fastest cars at the All-Star race here at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week, winning the first two 20-lap segments while being virtually unchallenged. But a poor pit stop cost Larson a chance at the $1 million first place prize as Kyle Busch went on to win.


8:25 p.m.

Drivers are not even halfway through the Coca-Cola 600 and there have already been more lead changes this year (10) than all of last year (nine), when Martin Truex Jr. led 392 of 400 laps in a dominating performance.

Truex is currently lead the race with 257 laps remaining but the race is in a rain delay.

NASCAR last week put down a traction compound called JP1 designed to create another groove and improve passing. But that compound generally works best when the track is warmer. With rain cooling things down, the traction compound may not be much of a help to drivers when they return to the track.

Ten jet dryers, 12 Air Titans and three vacuum trucks are on the track. There is no more rain in the forecast and track officials are optimistic the entire race will be completed.


8:05 p.m.

The longest race of the NASCAR season just got a little longer.

The Coca-Cola 600 race in Concord, North Carolina, has been red-flagged because of lightning in the area and the cars have been taken off the track. It has also started to rain, which means it could take some time to dry the track.

There are 257 laps remaining in the 400-lap race.


7:45 p.m.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he ''leaned heavily'' on teammate and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson this week when setting up his No. 88 Chevy for the Coca-Cola 600 after struggling here last week in the All-Star race.

The sentimental favorite is having a decent day so far, moving up to 13th place after 130 laps. He started the race in 19th place. He is going for his first Cup Series points race win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt says he wants to win the Coca-Cola 600 more than any other race before retiring at the end of the year.


7:25 p.m.

Kyle Busch has won the first of four stages at the Coca-Cola 600.

Busch is going for his first Cup Series points race victory at Charlotte Speedway just eight days after winning the $1 million All-Star race. Busch led 35 of the first 100 laps.

Pole sitter Kevin Harvick led the most laps (42), but Busch passed him late in the first stage for the playoff points.

Danica Patrick led seven laps in the first stage, the first time she's led a lap since the race in Loudon, New Hampshire, on Sept. 25, 2016.


6:40 p.m.

A crash 20 laps into the 400-lap Coca-Cola 600 has claimed the cars of Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski.

Something flew out from underneath Jeffrey Earnhardt and hit the front of Elliott's car, which quickly caught fire just as NASCAR was preparing going to a competition caution. Keselowski, who was racing behind Elliott, slammed into the back of Elliott's car.

Both cars have been taken behind the wall.

Keselowski was considered one of the favorites to win the race. He has already won twice on the Cup Series circuit this year.

''There was just oil everywhere,'' Keselowski said. ''You just couldn't stop or turn or anything.''

- Steve Reed reporting from Concord, North Carolina


6:25 p.m.

The nightcap for racing's biggest day is underway.

Drivers got off cleanly at the start of the NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

Pole sitter Kevin Harvick led the way with All-Star race winner Kyle Busch right behind. Four hundred laps from now we'll know who'll join Monaco Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel and Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato in the winner's circle.

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion at the 600, leading last year's race for a record 392 out of 400 laps.

- Pete Iacobelli reporting from Concord, North Carolina


4:30 p.m.

Fernando Alonso and McLaren might not be done with the Indy 500 just yet.

The two-time Formula One champion's opportunity to win the race expired with his engine with 20 laps remaining. Alonso was hoping to add the second jewel to the Triple Crown, joining his victory at the Grand Prix of Monaco, and leave only the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

McLaren boss Zak Brown told The Associated Press that the Indy 500 ''is something I'd like to see us do on a more regular basis.'' The manufacturer returned to Indy this year after a long absence.

Would Alonso be behind the wheel? ''''We have to get through tonight,'' Brown said, ''but yeah, I'd like to see him back. ... But our goal is to win Monaco next year with Fernando in the car.''

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


4 p.m.

Takuma Sato has won the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

The Japanese driver who wrecked on the final lap while dueling Dario Franchitti for the lead in 2012 held off Helio Castroneves over the final laps. He gave Andretti Autosport its second consecutive victory and third in the last four years.

Sato screamed into his radio as he slowed down the front stretch, his Honda engine still under power after three others let go while their drivers were near the front of the race.

Castroneves finished second, followed by Ed Jones, Max Chilton and Tony Kanaan.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


3:30 p.m.

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso has blown his engine with 20 laps remaining in the Indianapolis 500, the third Honda to explode in the closing laps of the race.

The crowd went crazy for Alonso as he climbed out of his car.

Alonso, skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to run the race, had been fast all month and was near the front all afternoon. But as he tried to work toward the front late in the race, the Honda power that had been pushing for the lead finally let go.

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball also had Honda engines expire, making nine of them during practice, qualifying and the race on Sunday.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


2:55 p.m.

The trouble Honda has been experiencing all month has bitten Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Honda has been plagued by blown engines ever since teams switched from the road setups for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis to testing on the big oval. James Hinchcliffe's engine blew on Carb Day and now Hunter-Reay's engine has let go with 64 laps remaining.

Honda engines have had far more power than Chevrolet this month, but reliability has been a major problem. Hunter-Reay's was the eighth Honda engine to blow in practice, qualifying and the race.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


2:15 p.m.

Helio Castroneves was the leader at the midway point of the Indianapolis 500, using an alternate pit strategy along with the rest of his Chevy-powered Team Penske teammates.

He later led his 5,700th lap, moving him into fifth on IndyCar's career list.

Castroneves pitted from the lead a few minutes later, sending Alexander Rossi back to the front. He was passed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, and when the former winner went into the pits, Graham Rahal moved into the lead. It was the 13th lead change, one off the Indy 500 record.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


2 p.m.

It's been a parade for Andretti Autosport at the Indy 500.

Ryan Hunter-Reay was leading when a caution came out for debris with 119 laps to go. He was followed by teammates Alexander Rossi and Fernando Alonso with fellow teammate Takuma Sato in fifth.

The debris appeared to come off another teammate, Marco Andretti, who was running 10th.

Andretti Autosport has won two of the last three races with Hunter-Reay taking the 2014 edition and Rossi winning it as a rookie last season.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


1:10 p.m.

Pole sitter Scott Dixon has been involved in a terrifying wreck and is out of the Indianapolis 500.

Dixon's car struck the car of Jay Howard, who had slid into the outside wall and then careered back across the track.

Dixon's car then catapulted toward the inside barrier, where it landed and split in half. Pieces of his car were left strewn across the track in Turn 2 as his car slid to a halt.

Dixon was already moving before his wreck car came to a stop. He got out of the car on his own power to a roar from the crowd and stepped into a waiting ambulance for a trip to the infield care center.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


1:05 p.m.

The first 100 miles of the Indianapolis 500 have been dominated by Andretti Autosport.

Defending race winner Alexander Rossi, Formula One star Fernando Alonso and team newcomer Takuma Sato are running away from the field through the first 40 laps. They have already started to pick away lapped traffic as they turn laps of 220 mph.

All three cars are powered by Honda, which has had more power than Chevrolet all month.

The three teammates have begun to jockey for the lead, not racing each other so much as sharing the time at the front. That's allowing them all to extend their fuel economy.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


1 p.m.

The first round of pit stops at the Indy 500 left Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter in the front, followed by defending race winner Alexander Rossi and Formula One star Fernando Alonso.

Alonso took his first race lead moments later on Lap 37.

Two-time race winner Juan Pablo Montoya stalled his car when he reached pit road, costing him some valuable time. Jay Howard ran out of gas and had to nurse his car to the pits.

Zach Veach missed his pit box and was assessed a drive-thru penalty.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


12:40 p.m.

Tony Kanaan just surpassed the 4,000-lap led mark for his IndyCar career.

In his 20th season, the 2013 Indy 500 champion has roared to the front under cloudy skies and with a stiff breeze blowing off Turn 2. It's the 13th time in 16 starts at Indianapolis that the Brazilian has led the race, tying four-time winner A.J. Foyt for the race record.

Now, the question is whether Kanaan's engine can keep him there.

Kanaan is powered by a Honda engine for Chip Ganassi Racing, and there's been a string of failures for the manufacturer the past few weeks. James Hinchcliffe's engine was the latest to let go on Carb Day.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


12:30 p.m.

Fernando Alonso had no problems with a rolling start at the Indy 500.

The two-time Formula One champion said this week that he hadn't made a rolling start in a race in 20 years, back when he was driving karts. But starting in the middle of the second row, Alonso took it easy on the traditional three-wide start under the famed Indianapolis pagoda.

He quickly dropped a few spots as the field got to speed, while Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi began jockeying for the lead ahead of him.

Kanaan was leading Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon after 10 laps.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


12:05 p.m.

Angela Brown gave a stirring rendition of ''God Bless America'' at the first Indy 500 since Florence Henderson died.

Henderson sang the song virtually every year for decades.

As a tribute to Henderson, she was recognized Saturday at the driver's meeting and a brick with her name on it was placed inside speedway's museum.

- Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis


11:15 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen returned to the speedway for another Indy 500, a longtime family tradition.

''It is a global event,'' Pence told ABC. ''To be able to be here ... is a real joy for us.''

The former Indiana governor left the race prediction to Karen, however, and she went with veteran Ed Carpenter.

''He's a friend, a hometown boy - and he's in the front row this year,'' she said.


10:15 a.m.

Sebastian Bourdais is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and, as promised, he's using crutches.

The Frenchman was involved in a terrifying wreck on qualifying weekend that left him with a fractured pelvis, hip and ribs. He had surgery hours after the accident, was released from Methodist Hospital on Wednesday and is already going through hours of daily rehabilitation .

''I'm feeling great to be here and out of the hospital atmosphere,'' said Bourdais, who told The Associated Press on Saturday that he refused to show up in a wheel chair.

Bourdais still can't put any weight on his right leg for five weeks, but he is targeting he season-ending race at Sonoma to get back in his car. James Davison will start in his place for Dale Coyne Racing on Sunday.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


10 a.m.

The red carpet is in full swing beneath the famed Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and as usual, it's an eclectic bunch from the worlds of sports and entertainment.

Professional wrestler Ric Flair dutifully went ''Wooooo!'' for the crowd. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith stopped by to chat. ''The Walking Dead'' actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who will drive the pace car for the Indy 500, was a popular selfie choice along with his wife, ''One Tree Hill'' star Hilarie Burton.

Singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha signed autographs a few hours before she was due to sing the national anthem. Jake Gyllenhall was also hanging around to promote his upcoming movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, accompanied by Jeff Bauman, who authored the best-selling book that inspired the film.

Gyllenhall and Bauman were sharing honorary starter duties.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Indianapolis


3:47 p.m.

Sebastian Vettel beat his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen to win the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday and comfortably extend his lead at the top of the standings.

It was the four-time F1 champion's third win of the season and 45th of his career, as well as Ferrari's first at Monaco since Michael Schumacher in 2001. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo finished third ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Title rival Lewis Hamilton clawed his Mercedes through the field to finish a commendable seventh from 13th on the grid.

Raikkonen started from pole position for the first time in nine years, with Vettel joining him on the front row. Both made a clean start, with Vettel holding off Bottas heading into the first corner.

After Raikkonen and Bottas had both come in for a tire change a few laps earlier, Vettel timed his change to perfection 39 laps into the 78-lap race. When he came back out, he was in front of Raikkonen.

- Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


2:40 p.m.

Lewis Hamilton is making his way through the field and into the points at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The three-time F1 champion started back from 13th place on the grid after a surprisingly bad performance from his Mercedes in Saturday's qualifying.

But the British driver has picked up three places and is up to 10th place after 30 laps of the 78-lap race.

Up ahead, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was closing in on second-placed Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen still leads as he chases his first win since the season-opening Australian GP in 2013.

- Jerome Pugmire in Monaco


2:05 p.m.

British driver Jenson Button got a surprise message on the radio just as he was preparing to start the Monaco Grand Prix.

It was from Fernando Alonso, who skipped this year's Formula One race to run in the Indianapolis 500.

Button came out of retirement for this race to fill in for Alonso. The exchange went like this.

Alonso: ''I am sure you don't want to hear my voice before you start but I just want to say good luck and I will be watching you here.''

''Thanks mate!'' Button replied. ''I am going to pee in your seat!''

Said Alonso: ''Please don't do that!''

Monaco's tight 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) course is the hardest in F1 to pass competitors.

- Jerome Pugmire in Monaco



One of the busiest days in motorsports has arrived.

The Formula One series kicks things off with the Monaco Grand Prix. Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel holds a slender six-point lead on three-time champion Lewis Hamilton. They have two wins each, but Vettel's Ferrari looks much quicker than it did last year while Hamilton's Mercedes is not as dominant. Vettel starts the race on the front row alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

The Indianapolis 500 is next, with a special guest this year. All eyes will be on two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard makes a one-off debut. He qualified in fifth place for the biggest race on the IndyCar calendar. Scott Dixon is on the pole for the ''Greatest Spectacle in Racing.''

NASCAR wraps things up Sunday night with one of its biggest races of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kevin Harvick is on the pole.


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