Austin powers: Dillon survives to win wild Pocono truck race
The news just keeps getting better for Austin Dillon.
After watching younger brother Ty score his first career Nationwide Series win last Saturday and then scoring a strong 10th-place finish himself in last Sunday's Brickyard 400, Dillon moved into position to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Making a cameo Camping World Truck Series start in Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, the 2011 truck champion and current Sprint Cup rookie pulled away to win in a green-white-checkered finish.
Dillon, driving a Chevrolet fielded by grandfather Richard Childress' RCR organization, became the first non-Toyota winner in 11 truck races this season.
"It's huge, man," said Dillon, who also entered last week's truck race at the Eldora Speedway dirt track. "I love coming back and running the trucks. It's fun."
Johnny Sauter, who lined just behind Dillon and gave Dillon's No. 3 truck a big push on the final restart, moved past Clint Bowyer to finish second, with Joey Coulter third, Bowyer slipping to fourth and Ryan Blaney taking fifth.
Dillon, who scored his sixth career truck win, was particularly glad to put Chevrolet in Victory Lane.
"Chevrolet's been working really hard to get there trucks better, and obviously it showed up today," Dillon said. "I think this will help, going forward, for all the Chevys if we can kind of use these notes and hopefully get a big win."
Bowyer, a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver, was subbing for John Wes Townley, who was injured in a crash on Friday at Pocono.
"Honestly, we were a third-place truck," said Bowyer, who lost the lead to Dillon on a restart with nine laps to go, and then lost two more spots on the final restart with two to go. "Kyle Larson had everybody killed and when his engine blew up, he kind of gave Austin and I an opportunity at it. We tried. It was a lot of fun. Just be able to jump it and give it a shot, I think we all did a pretty good job."
Making just his second truck start of the season, Sprint Cup Series rookie Larson started from the pole and had the race's dominant truck before experiencing engine issues just past the halfway point of the 60-lap race.
Larson, driving for Turner Scott Motorsports, finished 18th after leading 21 laps.
"I didn't know what to think," Dillon said. "Larson had a good truck and we were able to overcome it."
The last of four caution flags waved when Brad Keselowski Racing's Tyler Reddick wrecked German Quiroga in an apparent act of retaliation for contact between the two drivers that brought out the prior caution just a few laps earlier.
Following the second incident, Reddick was parked by NASCAR, and headed for the garage.
Sauter, who lined up sixth on the penultimate restart with nine laps left, climbed from fourth to second on the green-white-checkered restart, but had nothing for Dillon who jumped out to a big lead and never looked back.
"I gave the 3 (Dillon) the best push I could and probably pushed him too far away to have a run at him," Sauter said.
Blaney remains the points leader, now by seven over Sauter. Reigning series champion Matt Crafton is third, 12 points out of the lead.
The Truck Series has a week off before returning to action at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 16.