Monday, March 20, 2023

Austin Dillon Stuns the Field, Takes Third-Career Win in Texas as RCR Finishes 1-2

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Austin Dillon and his Richard Childress Racing teammate Tyler Reddick played a contrarian pit strategy at the end of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, and it paid dividends.

Dillon and Reddick had older tires than the rest of the field, but it didn’t matter as the duo was able to hold off a hungry pack including Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.

This is Dillon’s third-career NASCAR Cup Series win.

“Not bad for a silver spoon kid, right?” Dillon said. “I’ll take that. I have got to thank everyone at RCR, ECR and Bass Pro Shops and Tyler Reddick, he raced me clean. 1-2 for RCR, this has been coming. We’ve had good cars all year.”

The win will etch Dillon into the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff grid.

Reddick continues his incredible rookie season with the runner-up finish. Reddick now sits 18th in the Playoff grid and is only 14 points behind Jimmie Johnson for the final Playoff spot.

“We gotta keep fighting,” Reddick said. “If we keep running like this, we won’t have to worry about points, hopefully.”

Joey Logano won a dog fight with Kyle Busch to take third.

For Busch, the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion, he’s still winless in 2020, and he has yet to even record a Stage Win as the series has reached the half-way point of the season, however, his fourth-place finish was miraculous after he rebounded from a crash that sent him sliding into the grass on lap 217.

Kevin Harvick finished fifth. This is Harvick’s 11th top-five finish in 18 races this year. To put how impressive that is in perspective, Harvick had 15 top-fives a season ago (36 races).

Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.

For Almirola, who started on the pole, it was a crazy day. He started the race with brake issues, but he was able to manage those problems to lead 35 laps on the day. However, he was penalized during a green flag pit sequence for a blend line violation.

This mired Almirola, but he was able to come charging back for a top-10. This is his seventh-consecutive top-10 finish.

Sunday’s event at Texas was a calm race, until it wasn’t. Things went wild in the final Stage of the race.

A 12-car pileup brought out the first of six cautions in Stage 3, but it was an odd incident involving Quin Houff that changed the complexion of the race.

Houff was trying to get to pit road, but cut down on cars that were much faster on the inside. This sent his No. 00 car hard into the wall and brought out the yellow flag on lap 305. This made everyone question what to do.

Just about everyone pitted for tires, but Dillon and Reddick did not.

Post-Race Stat Pack:

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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