After getting turned around early in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway, Austin Dillon and Keith Rodden had been able to make an incredible recovery, sitting inside the top-12 at the start of the race’s final stage.
But, it didn’t take very long for that progress to be erased, after the Richard Childress Racing driver was involved in a vicious accident a couple of laps into the final stage of the HighPoint.com 400.
While racing three-wide with Tyler Reddick and Brad Keselowski, contact between Dillon and his former teammate sent the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro into the wall incredibly hard, ending his afternoon prematurely with a 34th-place finish.
Having just made all of the right moves to climb through the field, Dillon was understandably upset with the incident and immediately showed it, as he walked towards the racing surface and attempted (he missed) to throw his helmet at Reddick.
Another look on @austindillon3's helmet throw.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 23, 2023
“I heard [NBC’s] replay said that I came down a little bit. I felt like I was holding my own,” Dillon said. “He was at my left rear going in there, and I knew we were three-wide. I think I’ve got the right to at least hold my lane. I’ve got to turn at some point to get down.
“Brad (Keselowski) was on my outside, maybe a half-lane up, but Tyler (Reddick) drove it in there, and obviously, I feel like he drove it in there deep enough where he had to come up the track into me. We can look at the SMT and see the little fine movements that we make, but I felt like that was not the time to do that for the No. 45.”
When asked if Dillon would need to have a conversation with Tyler Reddick, the Welcome, North Carolina native, simply said: “No, I just need to start wrecking some people.”
Reddick, in terms of the performance of his car, would be unimpacted by the accident and would continue on to eventually finish in second for 23XI Racing. Though, the Corning, California native denies having any blame in the creation of that accident.
“The biggest thing is I’m glad he’s okay because that’s a big hit,” Reddick said after a second-place result. “But, we’re three wide, I’m trying to make it into the corner and I had one plan of approach and he had another, and unfortunately, just made contact. We hadn’t really had any moments today or anything really to put us in a spot where we would intentionally run into each other.”
While both drivers will likely agree to disagree on the subject, the results for the two drivers show a vast difference, with Reddick in second place, his sixth top-five of the season, and Dillon scoring his seventh DNF of 2023.