CHARLOTTE — Austin Dillon won his first career race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, making a fuel gamble pay off in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Dillon and four other cars skipped a green flag pit cycle with 30 laps left and as the others slowly ran out of fuel or were consumed by the field, Dillon was able to hold off the hard-charging Kyle Busch and the dominant car of Martin Truex Jr.
Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing led 233 laps, becoming just the second to pace the most laps in NASCAR’s longest race for three consecutive seasons. He led a record 392 in 2016 and 131 in 2015. He won only last year, losing in 2015 on fuel mileage also.
The victory put Richard Childress Racing’s iconic No. 3 Chevrolet back in victory lane for the first time since the late Dale Earnhardt won on Oct. 15, 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway. The Hall of Famer and seven-time champion died on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 and owner Richard Childress did not use the ‘3’ again until Dillon, his grandson, made his Cup debut in…