Austin Dillon Wins a Hot Texas Race

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FORT WORTH, TX – RIS - Austin Dillon stayed in front after a restart with two laps to go and beat rookie Tyler Reddick to the checkered flag at Texas, giving Richard Childress Racing a 1-2 NASCAR Cup finish and quite a show for spectators spread out in the stands on a sweltering Sunday.  It was the third career win for Dillon, the last coming in 2018.

Dillon stayed in front on three late restarts, the first after an incident with 29 laps left that shuffled the fast car of Ryan Blaney to a lap back.

"Not bad for a silver spoon kid, huh?" said Dillon, the grandson of Childress. "Tyler Reddick, he raced me clean. 1-2 for RCR. This has been coming. We've had good cars all year. I've got my baby Ace back home, my wife. I'm just so happy."

Reddick was pleased at the outcome.

“Can’t ask for much more than what we got there,” Reddick said on NBCSN after the race. “Me and my teammate on the front row there the last couple of restarts.”

Dillon found himself in second after a crash behind Reddick — who took fuel only — and got the lead after the ensuing restart. He then had to hold on for two more restarts after cautions that came out for Denny Hamlin inside the last 30 laps. Hamlin crashed with Alex Bowman on lap 318 of the 334-lap race and then crashed by himself after that. The final crash set up the last sprint to the finish as Dillon was able to keep Reddick, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch at bay.

Dillon was able to do that because tire wear was nonexistent at Texas on Sunday. Fresh tires were far less important than clean air throughout the entirety of the race as drivers were able to relatively maintain track position.

On the final restart, Dillon got a good jump and raced to the checkered flag ahead of his rookie teammate and some veteran drivers.

Joey Logano finished third, with Kyle Busch coming in fourth a day after he finished ahead of the field in two races -- having an Xfinity Series victory taken away after his car failed a post-race inspection before winning the Truck Series race that night. Series points leader Kevin Harvick was fifth.

There were an estimated 15,000-20,000 spectators at the track, where it reached 97 degrees late in the first summertime Cup race at Texas. It was supposed to be a spring race nearly four months ago before the coronavirus pandemic postponed and then shuffled NASCAR's schedule. Inside the cars, it was 130-140 degrees. After leading six times for 150 laps, both highs for the race, Ryan Blaney finished seventh.

Blaney, who had given up the lead when he pitted on Lap 287, fell a lap down after the field got shuffled with 29 laps to go when rookie Quin Houff crashed hard out of Turn 4. That also put pole-sitter Aric Almirola and Chase Elliott, coming off a $1 million win at NASCAR's All-Star race at Bristol on Wednesday night, a lap down.

The race was the first major sporting event in Texas in more than four months, and one of the largest gatherings of any kind in the state during the pandemic. The spectators were spread out along the front stretch, which was fully shaded late in the race, and there were also people in about 40 suites.

Unofficial Results: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, TX

Fin, St, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 21, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet, 334, , , 2, 22, 5, 40, Running
2) 24, Tyler Reddick #, No. 8 Cat Oil & Gas Chevrolet, 334, 4, , 2, 5, , 42, Running
3) 9, Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 334, , 2, 2, 22, , 43, Running
4) 4, Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 334, 2, 10, 2, 11, , 43, Running
5) 5, Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford, 334, 3, 5, 3, 40, , 46, Running
6) 23, Erik Jones, No. 20 Craftsman Toyota, 334, , 9, 2, 7, , 33, Running
7) 2, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Maytag Ford, 334, 1, 1, 6, 150, 2, 50, Running
8) 3, Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 334, 6, 4, , , , 41, Running
9) 6, Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 334, , , 1, 15, , 28, Running
10) 1, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Hometown Original Ford, 334, , 8, 3, 35, , 30, Running
11) 17, Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford, 334, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 8, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 334, , 7, , , , 29, Running
13) 15, Ryan Newman, No. 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford, 334, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 14, Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Cash App Chevrolet, 334, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 34, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 334, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 36, Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Trump 2020 Ford, 334, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 11, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, 334, , , 1, 1, , 20, Running
18) 22, Matt Kenseth, No. 42 McDelivery Chevrolet, 334, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 16, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Roush Performance Stage 3 Ford, 333, 9, , , , , 20, Running
20) 7, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, 333, , 3, 4, 11, , 25, Running
21) 33, Christopher Bell #, No. 95 Rheem Toyota, 331, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 28, John Hunter Nemechek #, No. 38 Citgard Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ford, 331, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 37, * Daniel Suarez, No. 96 Toyota Used Certified Vehicles Toyota, 329, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 35, JJ Yeley(i), No. 77 Formula One Imports Chevrolet, 328, , , , , , 0, Running
25) 29, Gray Gaulding(i), No. 27 Panini America Ford, 323, , , , , , 0, Running
26) 20, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 322, 7, , , , , 15, Running
27) 32, Brennan Poole #, No. 15 Spartan Mosquito Chevrolet, 322, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 40, * Reed Sorenson, No. 7 Gorilla Glue and Tape Chevrolet, 322, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 10, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 320, 10, 6, 2, 15, , 14, Running
30) 12, Alex Bowman, No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Adam's Polishes Chevrolet, 319, 8, , , , , 10, Accident
31) 27, Josh Bilicki(i), No. 53 Junction Fuels Chevrolet, 318, , , , , , 0, Running
32) 31, Joey Gase(i), No. 51 Red Rock Secured Ford, 318, , , , , , 0, Running
33) 39, * BJ McLeod(i), No. 78 AXELE.COM Chevrolet, 318, , , , , , 0, Running
34) 26, Quin Houff #, No. 00 Permatex Chevrolet, 295, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 30, Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 263, , , , , , 2, DVP
36) 38, * Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 RoofClaim.com Toyota, 254, , , , , , 0, Electrical
37) 18, William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 252, 5, , , , , 7, Accident
38) 13, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger Chevrolet, 221, , , , , , 1, Accident
39) 19, Cole Custer #, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, 219, , , , , , 1, Accident
40) 25, Ryan Preece, No. 37 Glad Chevrolet, 217, , , , , , 1, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (DVP) Damaged Vehicle Policy

Race Length: 334 laps, 501 miles
Time of Race: 3 hr, 38 min, 57 sec
Average Speed: 137.292 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.149 second

Stage 1 Top 10: 12, 18, 4, 8, 24, 1, 48, 88, 17, 19
Stage 2 Top 10: 12, 22, 11, 1, 4, 19, 9, 10, 20, 18

Race Comments: Austin Dillon won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, his third victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: Nos. 7, 9 (multiple inspection failures), Nos. 51, 53, 77 (driver change).

Caution Flags: 10 for 45 laps;
Laps: 22-25 (Competition Caution [00]);
107-111 (Stage 1 Conclusion [32]);
118-121 (No. 48 Incident Turn 4 [6]);
212-217 (Stage 2 Conclusion [6]);
220-224 (No. 18, 17, 19, 42, 41, 10, 1, 24, 37, 47, 43, 4 Incident Frontstretch [Red: 00:11:29] [14]);
244-248 (No. 38 Incident Backstretch [8]);
252-255 (No. 13, 24 Incident Turn 2 [34]);
307-311 (No. 00, 95, 21 Incident Turn 4 [11]);
320-323 (No. 88, 11 Incident Turn 2 [21]);
330-332 (No. 11 Incident Turn 4 [17]).

Lead Changes: 29 among 12 drivers;
A. Almirola 1-25;
K. Harvick 26-55;
A. Almirola 56-62;
M. Truex Jr. 63-67;
K. Busch 68;
R. Blaney 69-89;
E. Jones 90-94;
R. Blaney 95-112;
K. Busch 113-122;
D. Hamlin 123-125;
R. Blaney 126-159;
J. Logano 160-167;
E. Jones 168-169;
K. Harvick 170-176;
A. Almirola 177-179;
M. Truex Jr. 180-189;
R. Blaney 190-217;
B. Keselowski 218-232;
D. Hamlin 233-237;
R. Blaney 238-248;
D. Hamlin 249;
R. Blaney 250-287;
D. Hamlin 288-289;
M. DiBenedetto 290;
J. Logano 291-304;
K. Harvick 305-307;
T. Reddick # 308-311;
A. Dillon 312-323;
T. Reddick # 324;
A. Dillon 325-334.

American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award:  Clint Bowyer, No. 14

Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Tyler Reddick, No. 8

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 7, Posted 8:57 PM, 07.19.2020