Dillon ponders Darlington near-miss
Austin Dillon practically stole one other NASCAR crown jewel, and he would have cherished to have individuals speaking about how he did.
However he got here up a spot quick within the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. A late cost to second place had put Dillon ready take a stab at Kevin Harvick within the ultimate few laps, and he got here inside a couple of automotive lengths of Harvick’s bumper within the final corners.
“It appears like second place,” mentioned Dillon. “It’s like kissing your mother. It’s not enjoyable. Second place is so shut. I’m going to be fascinated by these final 20 laps for a very long time. Man, it will have had lots of people speaking if we stole one other crown jewel. I believe they’re speaking; I believe there’s respect both manner.”
There may additionally be no strategy to overlook Dillon as a playoff contender, both. Dillon admitted he doesn’t know why he’s dismissed greater than most, however believes he performs nicely in stress conditions. With the constant pace that Richard Childress Racing has proven this 12 months, Dillon has “whole perception” within the No. 3 Chevrolet staff, and this season, statistically, has been one in every of his finest.
“We would not have gotten each end that we should always have gotten this 12 months, however we’ve gotten loads of good finishes,” mentioned Dillon.
Sunday was a battle. Dillon needed to drop to the rear of the sector for an unapproved adjustment after inspection. On pit street, Dillon and crew chief Justin Alexander observed the tires had been placed on the unsuitable aspect of the automotive – left aspect on the suitable, and vice versa. Dillon in all probability would have “knocked the fence” down if it hadn’t been corrected.
Dillon then short-pitted in the course of the primary stage due to a tire puncture. However contemporary tires helped Dillon acquire some monitor place, and a warning fell on the proper time to assist the trigger.
“Took again off and simply sort of received tousled on that restart, misplaced a bit bit, after which was in a position to simply steadily work our manner again to the entrance all evening lengthy after which get inside that high 10,” mentioned Dillon. “We had some nice pit stops from our 3 staff. The American Ethanol Chevy was actually good once we sort of received to a degree the place I didn’t actually know what to do to it aside from to only slowly tighten it up, and I want I might have made just a bit bit extra of an adjustment.
“You possibly can inform, my final nook I had burned the suitable rear off it making an attempt to get there, and that’s sort of the place we had been. We had been just a bit free; we had corded a right-rear earlier within the race. We’ve been working arduous; we labored arduous within the sim this week to make the automotive take off higher. It’s an older setup that we’ve run right here a very long time, and we simply adjusted it, tweaked it a bit bit to take off a bit higher, and that’s what we’ve wished, and it did, and that helped us hold our monitor place and in the end gave us a shot at a Southern 500.
“So near one of many crown jewels once more. I like profitable these issues. Good run.”