He swept the competition aside like rain on a windshield.
Ty Dillon took advantage of a late-race wreck by leader Cale Gale with six laps remaining, and brushed leader Max Gresham aside with one lap to go and posted his fourth victory of the season in the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 on Friday at Michigan International Speedway.
Gale, who had led a total of 72 laps in the 100-lap event, was the victim of a blown right tire that sent him into the wall, giving the lead to Gresham on a green-white, one-lap restart. But Dillon jumped Gresham for the lead just after the start-finish line on the wild last lap and held off Gresham for the victory and a commanding lead in the ARCA driver points standings.
Dillon, driving the Richard Childress Racing Development Chevrolet, now holds a 210-point advantage over veteran Frank Kimmel, who finished ninth.
Dillon, 19, knew he had his work cut out with Gale clearly the class of the field before Gale’s tire flattened after traveling over debris on the track.
“I just tried to save my stuff and do what I could as the No. 25 (Gresham) kept coming,” Dillon said. “It seems ARCA races seem to have a lot of cautions at the end so I just tried to stay patient.”
Dillon, who graduated from high school just two weeks ago, is the grandson of long-time NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Childress.
“I thought for sure we had Ty on the restart on the last lap but we just got outdone a little,” Gresham said. “Ty beat me to the corner. If I would have had one more lap I might have gotten back in front but I just ran out of time. He just had a little bit more power than we had and you can’t beat power.”
Gale started from the pole after setting an ARCA record-qualifying speed of 189.623 miles per hour this morning and led the field by as much as five seconds on occasion, but a total of seven caution periods kept him somewhat at bay until his tire tragedy.
“It’s just racing,” he said following his 19th place finish. “It seems like 2011 has just been bad luck for me for whatever reason,” added Gale, who was coached over the radio throughout the race by Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick, who drives for Childress.
Tim George finished third followed by Chad Hackenbracht and Chris Buescher.