Austin Dillon's Late Race Surge to a Top-10 Finish
Austin Dillon and the No.20 Qore-24 Antibacterial Hand Purifier Chevrolet team worked together with one common goal in Thursday night's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
When the NASCAR Camping World Truck series took to the track for opening practice on Thursday morning, Austin Dillon turned 25 laps, posting the seventh-quickest time of 31.146. Dillon noted he was tight on the exit of the corner as he gets back to the throttle, while debriefing with crew chief Jeff Hensley, they were able to make adjustment before going into final practice.
In the final practice session before the evening's UNOH 225, Dillon turned 20 laps en route to posting the third -quickest time. "I really feel like we have something to work with tonight," said Dillon as final practice came to a close.
With knockout qualifying up next, Dillon easily made his way through the opening 25 minute round one. During round two, Dillon got into the wall on exit of turn two, with minimal damage, the NTS Motorsports crew repaired the No.20 Qore-24 Chevrolet.
After qualifying 23rd, Austin Dillon started from the rear for the evening's UNOH 225 after repairing the Qore-24 Chevrolet as a penalty for making unapproved adjustments. When the green flag flew, Dillon crossed the line 32nd but moved into 25th before the first caution flag flew on lap 2.
The green flag flew once again on lap 6. Dillon cracked inside the top-20 just as the second caution flag flew on lap 8. Crew chief Jeff Hensley brought Dillon down pit road for fuel only under this caution. Dillon restarted 21st at lap 12 and worked his way into the top-15 by lap 17.
Lap 20 while running 14th, Dillon noted his Qore-24 Chevrolet to be loose in, tight on exit. Dillon continued marching forward and into the top-10 at lap 50 as pit road started getting busy for green flag pit stops. Dillon pitted from 2nd at lap 58 for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment.
The third caution of the evening flew at lap 60 just as Dillon gets off pit road, Dillon was trapped a lap but received the lucky dog and got back on the lead lap. Dillon came back down pit road under this caution to top off with fuel and a chassis adjustment. The green flag flew once again at lap 65. Dillon running 15th restarted his charge back to the front just as the caution flag flew for the fourth time at lap 71. Dillon once again pitted for fuel and a chassis adjustment and came off pit road seventh.
When the green flag flew at lap 81, Dillon could see the leaders ahead and at lap 87 moved back into the top-five. The fifth caution flag flew at lap 98, Dillon noted his Qore-24 Chevrolet to be free on entry. Dillon pitted from the fifth position at lap 99 for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment. Dillon would have to start from the tail of the longest line for a pit road speeding penalty. The green flag flew once again at lap 103, Dillon running 15th knew it was time to go. As Austin Dillon made his charge forward he radioed in at lap 121 saying super tight on exit as he passed for 13th.
The sixth caution flag flew at lap 138, Dillon came down pit road for four tires, fuel, and to take out the last adjustment. Restarting 14th at lap 142, Dillon knew his fresher tires would be beneficial. With help from spotter Billy-O he was able to pick up seven positions in the closing laps and bring home a seventh-place finish in the 4th Annual UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
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