Austin Dillon lit up the field to win Saturday night's Drive for the Cure 300 for his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the year, sweeping both of the seasons Xfinity races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Dillon took the lead following a restart with 54 laps to go, diving under Erik Jones after going three-wide with Kyle Busch for the lead.
Dillon held on through one last yellow flag and led the final 44 green-flag laps to beat Jones by 2.8 seconds to collect his sixth-career Xfinity Series victory.
Brad Keselowski was third, followed by Daniel Suarez and Regan Smith.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Despite having started on the pole, Dillon struggled early, falling back to seventh as his team and crew chief Danny Stockman worked to dial in Dillon's no. 33 Chevrolet and get him back into contention.
"This one meant a lot," said Dillon. "We've won most of our races from the pole, and usually lead a lot of laps, but tonight we started off little off. We were pretty loose that whole last run, but it worked out and we were good enough to win the race.
"Danny (Stockman) did a great job, big adjustments from the first two runs. We just needed to get our track positions back. The caution came out and that was perfect for us."
Dillon got fireworks on both ends of the race, after an errant firework rained down on him during pre-race festivities, burning Dillon's firesuit.
"I was actually praying with my girlfriend and fireworks hit me in the back," said Dillon. "It started burning and I jumped and kinda pushed her out of the way. It was pretty crazy. I don't know if it was a sign from God, saying 'you're getting ready have a good night, get your butt in gear.'"
|Kyle Busch led 102 laps before crashing with 48 laps to go|
For much of the race, the night seemed to belong to Busch, who proved to have the dominant car after taking the lead on lap 40, holding onto the top spot as the field cycled through the first two round of pit stops.
Busch's momentum hit the wall ' literally ' on a restart following a caution flag on lap 143, as Busch faced a strong challenge from his teammate Erik Jones.
Jones, who had run in the top five all night, got a nice push from Dillon to edge ahead of Busch on the restart and powered past as Busch tumbled back to fourth.
As the two came through turn four, Jones pulled up to the high side of the track as Dillon edged to the bottom to take the lead.
Busch was able to gather himself back up and managed to get around Kahne to take third, but Kahne fought back, running Busch hard for position before the two made contact on lap 152, sending both into the turn four wall.
Kahne was able to soldier on, but Busch was done for the night, ending up with a 31st-place finish after leading a race-high 102 laps.
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]"Kyle got mad because he got into it with his teammate (Jones) off Turn 2 on the start," said Kahne after the race. "That shuffled him back to where I was, and I'm racing to try to get by him. He started beating on me down the back and on the front, and I overdrove Turn 3 and got into him."
The ensuing caution flag brought the leaders to pit road, with Dillon winning the race out of the pits to retain the lead.
Once under green, Dillon was untouchable, opening up a two-second lead that Jones wasn't able to overcome.
"I thought we had it on that one, but he (Austin Dillon) just got a really good run down the backstretch," said Jones. "I tried to get him back down the front stretch and just couldn't quite clear him into one and unfortunately that was kind of the rest of the race for us after that. Overall, good day for us. We ran out front and second place is never fun, but it's nice to know we were as fast as we were."
Ty Dillon finished sixth while Xfinity Series points leader Chris Buescher came home seventh ahead of Darrell Wallace, Jr. Defending series champion Chase Elliott ended up ninth followed by Elliott Sadler.
Elliott fell two more points behind Buescher in the points standings, now trailing by 26 points.
|8||6||Darrell Wallace Jr||Ford||9||200||0||36||Running|
|22||25||John Wes Townley||Chevrolet||26||196||0||0||Running|
|30||90||Jimmy Weller III||Chevrolet||25||164||0||14||Running|
|35||15||B J McLeod||Chevrolet||35||59||0||0||Engine|
|37||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||33||46||0||7||Fuel Pressure|