Dillon Wins Topsy-Turvy Food City 300 at Bristol

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

At the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, you just knew that 300 laps would not be enough time to contain all the chaotic excitement and happenings that gave Austin Dillon, driving the No.2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, his second NASCAR Xfinity series victory of 2016 and eighth overall.

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

It’s been quite the eventful week for the 26-year old from Lewisville, NC, vacationing in the Bahamas right after the Watkins Glen race, proposing marriage to his now fiancée’, Whitney Ward and surviving a helter-skelter finish at Bristol to be out front when it counted in overtime to give his lady a victory on her birthday.

“It was just a war of attrition and we did what we had to do to win,” said Dillon. “We had a pretty good car – maybe not the fastest car – but the car that won. I made a mistake in (Turn) 3 coming to the white, but, luckily, everybody else got loose” The stars of the night were Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson, together leading for 298 laps with Jones wrecking, Keselowski running out of fuel as the leader and Kyle Larson ending up finishing third. Dillon led only four laps, including the two in overtime.

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

 

The one battle that fans will remember the most on Friday night casted two Sprint Cup performers, Keselowski against Kyle Busch with 13 to go fighting for the lead. Just as Busch looked assured of the lead, trying mightily to pass, moved up the groove colliding with Keselowski’s front nose that was still there. That’s all it took with Busch cutting a tire and slamming into the turn three wall collecting Ty Dillon in his accident

“Kyle is, of course, is real good at this track, and he was quite a bit faster,” Keselowski said. “I was just trying to hold him off any way I could. He got a good run on the bottom, and the bottom groove was just a little bit faster in (Turns) 1 and 2 than it was in three and four. He knew that, made a really smart move, and got up next to me, but I had a big run on exit and he wasn’t quite clear.

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 19: Austin Dillon, driver of the #2 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 19, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)

“I knew he needed to come up because 3 and 4, like I said, the bottom groove there wasn’t as good. He knew he needed to come up and there just wasn’t enough room. I was already there and it clipped him in the right rear. I don’t really know what happened from there, but it was tough. We were battling really hard and definitely didn’t want to see it end that way.”

Following Dillon to the stripe were Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson, points leader, Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan, rounding out the top five.  The series returns to road racing heading to the four-mile Road America circuit in Wisconsin for the running of the Road America 180 on Saturday on August 27, airing on NBCSN,

About Jay Wells 321 Articles
Jay Wells, 61, is a veteran motorsports public relations and marketing official. He spent 33 years at the track working with NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and NHRA series' before retiring in 2009. He began writing for RacingJunk.com in September of 2013 covering the NHRA and NASCAR circuits with post race coverage along with feature and breaking news stories. Wells resides in Mooresville, North Carolina. Follow Wells on Twitter @ jaywells500.
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