“I wasn’t going to lose this race and not get that cowboy hat.”
Ty Dillon came into this weekend wanting to win and get the cowboy hat that comes with winning. He did just that as he would dominate, leading the most laps, on the way to scoring the victory in the WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway.
On a restart with 41 laps to go, Dillon would fall back to fourth after Ryan Blaney grabbed the lead with James Buescher second and Johnny Sauter third. Dillon would climb his way back through the traffic, taking the lead for the final time with 29 laps to go and never looking back. It marks his second victory of 2013 and third victory of his Camping World Truck Series career.
“I’ve wanted to win at Texas and glad that we were able to,” Dillon said. “We should’ve won more races this year, but it’s nice to be here in victory lane this weekend.”
On multiple occasions this year, Dillon has come close to victory, but has come up short.
“The sad thing is we should have more wins this year than this, we should be right there in the championship fight,” Marcus Richmond, Dillon’s crew chief said. “We’ve had flawless trucks all year long, just have had things go wrong at the end of the race. Ty did a great job tonight stepping it up.”
The win marks a comeback for the 21-year-old following controversy last week at Martinsville Speedway in the form of a fight with Kevin Harvick. The two crossed paths on track, resulting in Harvick going around. Then under caution, Harvick would make contact with Dillon, resulting in more damage. Post-race, Harvick called Dillon a “spoiled little kid” saying that Dillon has gotten everything as a result of being Richard Childress’ grandson.
“On the flight down here, our strength and conditioning coach has podcasts and I was listening to them. It spoke to my heart and you can’t worry about the small things,” Dillon said. “These are my guys and they have my back no matter what.
“This is the 100th win for the no. 3. I wish it was Dale Earnhardt getting that win. I wish he was still here with us.”
Johnny Sauter finished second for his 13th top 10 of the season.
“We got it right there in the end but came up short,” Sauter said. “Great night for us. Solid night for us. Proud of everybody. Great stops tonight.”
Ron Hornaday would finish third despite getting damage early due to contact with Migue Paludo.
“I thought we were done when the 32 got sideways there and punched a hole in the front end,” he commented.” But we were able to come back and almost had Johnny at the end, but he was able to get by there and run off.”
Brendan Gaughan and Justin Lofton rounded out the top five. Lofton was driving with a broken thumb following the wreck at Talladega Superspeedway a couple weeks ago.
James Buescher finished sixth followed by Darrell Wallace Jr., Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley and Matt Crafton. Points leader Crafton struggled most of the night, though was able to crack the top 10 in the final couple of laps.
“That was horrendously bad, honestly,” Crafton said. “Last night we were so happy with our truck. My god when we started the race, we were so tight from the center off. We kept making changes and got better as the night went on and did well. We started like 29th on that run and came all the way up to 10th, which is pretty dang good.”
Crafton now leads Buescher by 46 points and by finishing 18th or better in the final two races, he will clinch the championship.
Pole sitter and spring race winner Jeb Burton was running inside of the top 10 most of the night when his truck would run out of fuel, resulting in him having to come down pit road with six laps to go.
Sprint Cup Series regulars Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch both struggled throughout the night after looking strong early.
While underneath Lofton at lap 24, Keselowski would get loose and spin. He was then trapped a lap down for the rest of the night.
Meanwhile, Busch came down pit road at lap 49 for the truck overheating. The overheating caused it’s damaged before Busch could take care of it, as he would blow the motor later on in the event. The result was a poor finish for Busch and Crafton being able to extend his points lead in the owner’s standings.