Austin Dillon took no prisoners winning the pole then led all but eight laps of the 200 lap race at Kentucky Speedway in a Chevrolet.
It was the first Nationwide Series victory for the rookie who was the champion of the NASCAR Truck Series last year.
Although it looked easy the young driver, grandson of car owner Richard Childress, said "I was actually loose the whole race. I just kept getting looser and looser. I was just really driving as straight as I could trying not to slit the tires. I kind of back-steered the whole race, but that last adjustment he (Crew Chief Danny Stockman Jr.) made got me tight enough to fire off really good.”
For Childress it went beyond a family affair. Dillon drives with the No. 3 stylized the way the late seven-time Cup Champ, Dale Earnhardt did when he raced for RCR. Recalling his departed legendary driver Childress said “Dale would have been proud of that run.”
The last time the stylized #3 was in victory lane was two years ago when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. driving Richard Childress & JR Motorsports car won the Nationwide race in Daytona Beach.
Finishing second almost ten seconds behind was Kurt Busch who drove a Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports."I thought it was a great battle for us tonight. We started out really loose, but (Crew Chief) Mike Beam and his experience and leadership brought us to the front to contend for the lead. That being said, Austin Dillon was in another zip code. Congratulations to him, Richard Childress and his team on Austin's first Nationwide win.
"The track was really hot today for qualifying and then really cooled off for the race. We knew that the track was going to get loose but we still were just a little behind on the setup. It is my first Nationwide race here at Kentucky. To come home with a runner-up finish is something that the team can be proud of and build on," Busch said.
Kevin Harvick was third followed by Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier.
Elliott Sadler who started the race with the series points lead finished ninth. Danica Patrick finished 12th.
After the race Dillon’s car failed post-race inspection because the car’s heights were too low in the rear. He had taken over the series points lead, but, will fall back due to inevitable NASCAR penalties. A similar infraction cost six points earlier this year. That would put Dillon four points behind Sadler.