- Sports Staff
NASCAR Sports Update: Austin Dillon lassos in first Texas victory (7/19/20) By: Josh Scott
Austin Dillon held off rookie teammate Tyler Reddick by .149 seconds in Overtime to win the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday. The win is Dillon's first of 2020 and automatically locks him in as one of NASCAR's 16 Playoff drivers. This is also the Welcome, NC native's third career victory, which snaps a winless streak of 88 races.
Joey Logano finished third, followed by Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, who made his 700th career Cup Series start. Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and polesitter Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10. Rookie Cole Custer, who shocked the NASCAR world by winning last Sunday's race at Kentucky, was involved in a multi-car incident and finished 39th. Almirola, with his 10th place result, now has seven straight top 10 finishes.
Blaney dominated much of the race, leading the most laps (150) and winning both Stage One and Two.
When rookie Quin Houff's number 00 Chevrolet brought out a late caution with 27 laps to go, many drivers took four fresh tires and fuel during pit stops. However, Dillon took just two new tires while Reddick had fuel only put in his car. On the following restart, thanks to the fresher tires, Dillon snatched the lead away from Reddick and never looked back. Despite two more restarts, including one with six laps to go after Denny Hamlin's number 11 Toyota spun, the grandson of car owner Richard Childress managed to hang on and snag his first victory since winning the 2018 Daytona 500.
The Playoff picture for the NASCAR Cup Series continues to tighten up as only eight races remain until the postseason. Ten drivers including Dillon have locked themselves in by winning at least one race. The remaining six drivers are currently locked in on points. Jimmie Johnson, who finished 26th, currently holds the 16th and final spot by a mere two points over teammate William Byron.
The Cup Series travels to Kansas Speedway for a rare Thursday night race at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin won both Kansas races last season, with Keselowski winning the spring event and Hamlin, the fall race.