Austin Dillon led Richard Childress Racing to a 1-2 finish at Texas Motor Speedway by fending off the field on two restarts inside the final 10 laps.
Dillon claimed his third career win in the NASCAR Cup Series by beating rookie teammate Tyler Reddick in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The run to the finish was a green-white-checkered overtime in which Dillon chose the inside lane and cleared the field off Turn 2.
“Not bad for a silver spoon kid, right?” said Dillon after his burnout. “I’ll take that. I have to thank everyone at RCR, ECR, Bass Pro Shops. Tyler Reddick, he raced me clean (and) 1-2 for RCR. This has been coming; we’ve had good cars all year.”
The win clinches Dillon a spot in the playoffs, which will be his third appearance in the postseason in four years.
Texas is the first time since 2011 (Talladega) that Richard Childress Racing has swept the top two spots. The organization now has 109 wins in the Cup Series.
As the runner-up, Reddick earned a career-best finish in the Cup Series. Joey Logano finished third with Kyle Busch fourth and Kevin Harvick finishing fifth.
The complexion of the race changed when the caution flew during a round of pit stops on lap 306. Many drivers who had been strong throughout the day like Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, and Aric Almirola, had already pitted and were caught a lap down. At the same time, Dillon, Reddick, Logano, Kyle Busch, and others were able to pit under caution and remain at the front of the field.
Reddick took fuel only and inherited the race lead over Dillon. However, Dillon snatched the top spot when the race restarted with 23 laps to go. Dillon was in control when the caution flew again with 16 laps to go when Hamlin and Alex Bowman crashed in Turn 2, and then with six laps when Hamlin spun off Turn 4.
Erik Jones finished sixth with Blaney winding up seventh. Blaney swept both stages and led a race-high 150 laps.
The rest of the top 10 were Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Aric Almirola. Starting from the pole, Almirola led 35 laps and rebounded after losing two laps when he was penalized for a blend line violation.
There were 29 lead changes among 12 drivers Sunday afternoon and 10 cautions.