The first time is always a special time but the location of Victory Lane can also add to the experience.
Ty Dillon, working without his driver cooling system since Lap 2, held off Cup series veteran Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.
Dillon becomes the first Nationwide series regular to win at the Brickyard since the track added a series race in 2012. He also claimed a $100,000 bonus from the Dash4Cash program and is automatically eligible for another next week at Iowa.
“It feels great. I couldn’t ask for anything better, to beat (Joey) Logano, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and all the guys and do it at Indianapolis,” said Dillon, whose previous best finish this season was fifth at Chicagoland.
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“I wasn’t going to let (Busch) beat me. I was trying with all I had. I can’t say how proud I am of my team right now.”
On the final restart on Lap 78 of 100, Dillon lined up second alongside Busch but as the two drove off into Turn 1, Dillon quickly got around Busch and took the lead.
“He got right by me and drove underneath me and that was the race right there,” Busch said of the restart with Dillon. “If I could have been out front, I think we could have held him off.”
Dillon built up a sizable lead but Busch slowly inched his way back into contention as Dillon worked to save fuel. Busch never got in position for a serious challenge for the lead, however.
“To win here and race against the guys he did is unbelievable,” said Dillon’s team owner and grandfather, Richard Childress.
Matt Kenseth finished third, Harvick was fourth and Logano was fifth. Chase Elliott, who finished 12th, continues to lead the series standings and holds a four-point lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith.
Dillon, Brian Scott, Trevor Bayne and Smith will be the four eligible drivers for the final $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus next weekend at Iowa.
The race was slowed three times by caution covering 17 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers with Harvick leading the most laps (33).