Austin Dillon Survives Late Race Carnage to Win in XFINITY at Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Austin Dillon wasn’t in the dominant car of the night nor near the front most of the night, but he was in front when it counted and he scored the victory in the Food City 300 at Thunder Valley.

Brad Keselowski took the lead late n the race from Kyle Larson, who led a race-high of 200 laps, and had the win in check following Kyle Busch’s late-race wreck as he would’ve restarted the race with two laps to go and with the lane choice. He didn’t have the gas to make the finish, however, and the driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet drove on to win the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I feel like the fans had to have loved that race,” Dillon said. “It was interesting to have another lane down at the bottom of the track and it ended up being a race on those last two restarts. At the end of the race, I listened to the advice of my grandfather on what lane to choose to restart and I’m glad I did. It really worked out. The more and more I learn about these races it’s a battle of attrition and it’s about who can survive. I’m proud of Justin Alexander. This is his first win as a crew chief in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and this is our first win together in our first race together so it’s a great way to start.”

It’s Dillon’s eighth victory in 111 career XFINITY Series starts, his second of the season, the 12th top-10 finish of 2016 and his first win at Bristol.

Justin Allgaier brought his No. 7 JR Motorsports home to a runner-up finish. Larson rounded out the podium in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Elliott Sadler finished fourth in his No. 1 JRM Chevrolet. Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top-five in his No. 62 RCR Chevrolet.

Jeremy Clements finished sixth in his No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet. Darrell Wallace Jr. led four laps on his way to a seventh-place finish in his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Blake Koch finished eighth in his No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. Brandon Jones finished ninth in his No. 33 RCR Chevrolet. Corey LaJoie rounded out the top-10 in his No. 24 JGL Racing Toyota.

Eight drivers finished the race on the lead lap and 30 cars were running at the finish.

The race lasted one hour, 56 minutes and seven seconds at an average speed of 84.827 mph. There were 16 lead changes among seven drivers and eight cautions for 54 laps.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Tucker White
Tucker White
My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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