FONTANA, Calif. — In one of the most exciting Saturday races in Auto Club Speedway history, Austin Dillon (No. 2, Rheem Chevrolet) thwarted Kyle Busch’s shot at making history by winning four straight XFINITY Series victory this year as Dillon came back to win the TreatMyClot.com 300 in dramatic fashion.
Race-leader Busch (No. 18, NOS Energy Drink Toyota) blew a tire while attempting to save fuel on the final lap, allowing Dillon to make a memorable pass for his first victory at Auto Club Speedway at the ACS’s 18th-annual XFINITY Series race.”Sometimes things just go your way, and today it definitely did,” said Dillon, who only led one lap for the entire race, the most-important last lap. “It was a fun race and I hope the fans enjoyed that last lap. It was very exciting. A little bit of everything happened out there: tires flat, low fuel and hitting the walls. And a victory.”
Dillon’s seventh career XFINITY Series victory came one day after the 25-year-old captured the Coors Light pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
“This ranks up there as one of the best,” said Dillon, who has four top 10 finishes in 2016. “I’ve never had a fuel-mileage win. This was like a chess match win, you could say. This was one of the coolest ways to win. When you steal one like this it just means a lot more for some reason. You can never predict what’s going to happen so you just have to stay in the race. We’ll go into tomorrow with a lot of confidence.”
Following Dillon and Busch in crossing the finish line were Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 6, Ford EcoBoost Ford), Daniel Suarez (No. 19, Interstate Batteries Toyota) and Elliott Sadler (No. 1, OneMain Chevrolet). Brandon Jones (No. 33, Nexteer Chevrolet) was the highest finishing rookie, placing ninth.
Busch had come into the TreatMyClot.com 300 having led 493 of the last 563 laps run in the series after picking up wins at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. That accounted for nearly 88 percent of the laps led over those three races.
Richard Childress, Dillon’s team owner from Richard Childress Racing said, “I just told (crew chief) Danny (Stockman Jr.) this is a perfect example of what you want to call luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. These guys were prepared today, and the opportunity was there and they capitalized, and that’s what it takes to win. You got to be in a position to capitalize and I’m proud of them; proud on Danny’s call, and Austin saving fuel there for a long ways. It was a good deal.”
Stockman said he was encouraged by what he saw heading into the last lap. “I’d seen the 20 (car; Erik Jones) run out. I’d seen the 19 (car; Daniel Suarez) run out. I’d seen the 18 (car; Kyle Busch) come by real slow and the next lap he got a flat tire, so we just kept truckin’ on, never gave up. I think we always got wrecked out of (turn) four, but Austin did a heckuva job and came to the checkered.”
Source: Auto Club Speedway