Austin Dillon left no doubt en route to his first win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 2011 Camping World Truck Series champion led all but eight of 200 laps in the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway to become the third first-time winner of 2012, and second in as many weeks.
“This is what we wanted – that was domination,” Dillon said. “The car was great. I'm having so much fun getting to do this. We were loose on the last stop, and I had to not slide the tires. But we were tight enough off on the last run. Our car was the strongest. It's awesome for all these fans, I can't thank my grandpa enough.”
Dillon was a regular winner in the Truck ranks a year ago but the win for his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress was the first in Nationwide for the trademark No. 3 since Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona in July 2010.
Although his car fell off toward the end of the last stint, Kurt Busch finished second in brother Kyle's Monster Energy Toyota. Busch led the field in admitting they had nothing for Dillon.
“It was a good battle, we were too loose early,” Busch said. “(Crew chief) Mike Beam brought it back. It was my first (Nationwide) run at Kentucky so I didn't know what to expect. We were in the wrong zip code. They were money. You gotta be perfect, we weren't.”
Third-placed Kevin Harvick said his car was terrible, but he brought it home nonetheless. Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier completed the top five, both benefiting on the final run to pit later than several other leaders who pitted under green.
Dillon, who follows Nelson Piquet Jr. a week ago as a new winner in Nationwide competition, also took the series points lead ahead of Elliott Sadler by two points and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 23. Sadler finished ninth, Stenhouse eighth, and Stenhouse had an early pit incident where he missed his pit stall and injured one of his crewmembers.