Ty Dillon dominated the WinStar World Casino 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, leading 130 of the 147 laps that made up the event en route to the win. It was the 100th win for a Richard Childress-owned No. 3 entry across NASCAR’s three national series.
“It’s great,” Childress said. “To have my grandson to win the 100th race with the No. 3, with Dale Earnhardt, and Austin and Ty, all they’ve done, it’s very, very special. It’ll be a night I remember for a long time.”
Johnny Sauter finished second, Ron Hornaday was third, Brendan Gaughan fourth and Justin Lofton finished fifth.
Dillon took the lead from pole sitter Jeb Burton at the start of the race and led all but a few laps here and there soon after restarts that followed the three cautions in the race.
After the first caution that came out on lap 24, Dillon had to contend with Kyle Busch on the restart. The two raced side-by-side for a few laps with Busch, at times, inching ahead of Dillon. Dillon was finally able to clear Busch and take over the lead after a few laps.
Dillon continued to lead until the next caution came out on lap 59. On the restart that followed that caution, Dillon had Lofton to contend with up front. But just like Busch before him, Lofton, eventually gave way to Dillon a few laps after the race returned to green.
Dillon fell back as far as fourth position on the final restart of the race that came with 41 laps to go. He first lost the lead to Ryan Blaney and then second to James Buescher before losing an additional spot. But seven laps later, Dillon moved back up to second and then re-assumed the lead for good with 31 laps remaining.
“We went through a lot the last week,” Dillon said, referring to an incident between his team and Kevin Harvick at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway the previous weekend. “I think, today, everybody sees what happens when we put a whole race together.”
Sauter took over the second position with 27 laps to go and maintained the spot for the remainder of the race, unable to catch Dillon for the lead and the win.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Buescher, Darrell Wallace Jr., Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley and series points leader Matt Crafton. Crafton’s lead over second-place Buescher shrank from 51 to 46 points with two races remaining in the 2013 season.
Crafton said the his truck was “horrendously bad” early in the race, but then it improved near the end.
“We never gave up,” Crafton said. “I wish, right now, we could start the race.”
As for the two Sprint Cup regulars who took on truck competition Friday — Busch and Brad Keselowski — Busch retired from the race early and was credited with a 28th-place finish after over-heating problems that plagued his truck throughout the race resulted in an engine failure in the last 50 laps. Keselowski spun to bring out the first caution on lap 24 and was unable to get back on the lead lap. He wound up 21st.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR