Dillon battles competition and rain to win Xfinity race at Michigan

by Angela Campbell On Sat, Jun. 09, 2018

Photo by Tim Jarrold for SpeedwayMedia.com.

Austin Dillon held off his Richard Childress Racing teammate Daniel Hemric to bring home the checkered flag in Saturday’s Xfinity Series LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

It was his first Xfinity Series victory win since August 2016 at Bristol, ending a 26-race winless streak in the series. Dillon took over the lead on Lap 72 and led the last 18 laps of the rain-shortened event which ended under caution after Lap 91 of 125 scheduled laps. The race start was delayed three hours due to the inclement weather.

It was Dillon’s first win at Michigan and his ninth Xfinity Series career victory.

“It’s always amazing to get back to Victory Lane. We’ve been working really hard at Richard Childress Racing to get back into the Winner’s Circle and as an organization, we really thought that if we could put Nick Harrison and myself together we could get there. It worked because this is only our second race together this year and here we are.”

Hemric’s second place tied his career-best finish but he was disappointed in the result.

“I am proud of the effort and the strides our team made throughout the weekend in practice to make sure we had a really good-driving race car today. I’m proud of everyone on this No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino team for giving me the opportunity to drive a fast race car. I just didn’t quite execute on my end to put this team in Victory Lane today.”

Cole Custer finished third, and said, “Today we were just in the right place at the right time and had great strategy. I think my crew chief had a great strategy and got us track position at the end. Our Code 3 Ford Mustang was pretty solid. It was hard to pass. You don’t want to be on the bottom. We had some things go our way and ended up P3 there.”

Ryan Reed placed fourth followed by Paul Menard in fifth. Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Truex rounded out the top 10.

This was the second straight week that the Xfinity Series ran a high-downforce restrictor-plate package. The result was closer racing action which produced nine cautions during the race.

Dillon gave the package his stamp of approval, saying, “The new package we ran this weekend worked. The fans had to love how tight we were all running together. It was definitely difficult to pass that lead guy. I thought it was fun. It reminded me of Go Kart racing back in the day.”

Elliott Sadler, the series point leader, finished 30th after scraping the outside wall on Lap 73 due to contact with Alex Bowman. He retains the lead by 41 points over Custer in second.

The Xfinity Series heads to Iowa Speedway next Sunday for the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen.

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

Complete results:

  1. (13) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 91 laps, 0 rating, 0 points.
  2. (5) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 35.
  3. (4) Cole Custer, Ford, 91, 0, 42.
  4. (15) Ryan Reed, Ford, 91, 0, 49.
  5. (2) Paul Menard, Ford, 91, 0, 0.
  6. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 91, 0, 0.
  7. (6) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 30.
  8. (24) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 91, 0, 0.
  9. (9) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 28.
  10. (12) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 41.
  11. (7) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 91, 0, 28.
  12. (40) Kaz Grala, Ford, 91, 0, 34.
  13. (8) John Hunter Nemechek, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 33.
  14. (16) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 28.
  15. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 22.
  16. (14) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 28.
  17. (17) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 20.
  18. (11) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 91, 0, 25.
  19. (18) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 18.
  20. (27) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 17.
  21. (10) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 0.
  22. (34) Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 15.
  23. (29) Austin Cindric, Ford, 91, 0, 18.
  24. (25) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 13.
  25. (32) Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 12.
  26. (22) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 11.
  27. (33) Josh Bilicki, Toyota, 91, 0, 10.
  28. (38) BJ McLeod, Dodge, 91, 0, 9.
  29. (36) Chad Finchum, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 8.
  30. (3) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 91, 0, 21.
  31. (37) Timmy Hill, Dodge, 90, 0, 6.
  32. (26) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, transmission, 89, 0, 5.
  33. (28) David Starr, Chevrolet, accident, 82, 0, 4.
  34. (23) Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, accident, 79, 0, 3.
  35. (35) Brandon Hightower, Toyota, accident, 79, 0, 2.
  36. (30) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, accident, 54, 0, 1.
  37. (20) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, accident, 52, 0, 1.
  38. (39) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, brakes, 34, 0, 1.
  39. (19) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, overheating, 33, 0, 1.
  40. (31) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, vibration, 5, 0, 1.

 

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