Chevrolet finally found a new road to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Truck series.
Austin Dillon, driving the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, held off a spirited challenge from Johnny Sauter to win Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway in a two-lap overtime.
Dillon’s win snaps Toyota’s record 12-race winning streak in the series that dates back to last season.
“This was huge,” said Dillon, who earned his sixth Truck series win. “I love coming back and running the Trucks. It’s fun. (Crew chief) Nick Harrison put a new body on this truck to come here and have fun and win.
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“Chevrolet has been working really hard to get their trucks running better and it really showed up today. I think this will help going forward for all the Chevys.”
Dillon and Kyle Larson looked like they had the fastest trucks in the race but Larson’s truck appeared to drop a cylinder mid-race and never got back up to speed.
Dillon passed Clint Bowyer for the lead on a restart on Lap 53 of the scheduled 60-lap race and easily maintained his lead on the restart in the overtime.
“I didn’t know what to think early in the race,” Dillon said. “Larson had a great truck and we were able to overcome it.”
Joey Coulter finished third, Bowyer was fourth and series points leader Ryan Blaney ended up fifth. Blaney holds a seven-point lead over Sauter in the series standings heading into the next race in two weeks at Michigan.
Bowyer, a Sprint Cup series regular, was a last-minute substitute for John Wes Townley, who sat out Friday’s Automobile Racing Club of America series race and Saturday’s Truck race after a vicious wreck Friday in ARCA qualifying.
Because of the change, Bowyer had to start the race from the rear of the field, but still managed to get into contention.
“Honestly, we were a third-place truck. Kyle Larson had everybody covered,” Bowyer said. “It was a lot of fun, though. These trucks are so much fun to drive.”