Andy Lally accepts the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award.
RCR driver scores fourth career XFINITY Series win RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Learn more about Dash 4 Cash CONCORD, N.C. – For the second straight Saturday, Denny Hamlin had the chance to hold off a race's strongest car for the victory. Unlike last Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, however, there were too many laps left after the final restart in Saturday's Hisense 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series, and polesitter Austin Dillon powered past Hamlin on Lap 186 of 200 to finish the race where he belonged—at the front of the field. By the time he crossed the finish line, Dillon was 2.692 seconds ahead of Hamlin, who had taken the lead during a restart on Lap 167 that saw Dillon fall back to fourth from the inside lane by the time the leaders exited Turn 2. One by one, Dillon picked off Regan Smith , Kahne and Hamlin on the way to his second XFINITY Series victory of the season, his first at Charlotte and the fourth of his career. Kahne ran third behind Dillon and Hamlin, followed by Smith and rookies Darrell Wallace Jr . and Daniel Suarez . Ty Dillon came home seventh and trimmed the series lead of 11th-place finisher Chris Buescher to four points. Dillon led 163 laps and held an advantage of more than six seconds during a 54-lap green-flag run that preceded the second caution of the race on Lap 110. How good was Dillon's No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet? "I didn't want to get out of this thing," Dillon said in Victory Lane. "This thing drove so good. It was a heck of a race there with Denny at the end and Kasey (Kahne). I had to go right there in lapped traffic (to make the winning pass). "I knew if I didn't hurry up and get in front of him right there, the tires might equalize (in terms of grip)." But when Dillon picked the inside lane for what proved to be the final restart—after a caution for Kyle Fowler 's wreck in Turn 1—Hamlin seized what he considered a fortuitous opportunity and surged into the lead. "I thought when the 33 gave us the outside, that was a big advantage for us if we could stay with him through Turns 1 and 2," said Hamlin, who last Saturday held off Kevin Harvick in the final 10-lap shootout to win the Sprint All-Star Race. "We (did), and it allowed us to get position on him and even get him shuffled a few spots. "That was all good, but his car was just so fast he just overcame that track position." Hamlin lost the lead when the lapped car of Peyton Sellers stayed low and forced Hamlin's No. 54 Toyota to pass on the outside. "I needed to stay on the bottom," Hamlin said. "My car was best on the bottom. His car was pinned to the bottom as well. So I needed all of the lapped cars to move up high, and all of them did, except for the 97 (Sellers). He gave us the high line. That just killed us and killed our chances from that point, once the 33 got to our inside." Dillon chose the inside line because his car had worked well on the bottom for the entire race to that point. "My spotter ( Andy Houston) made the fact that we should have probably taken the top, and I had been on the bottom all day, so I chose the bottom again," Dillon said. "I just didn't want to let these guys down (his crew). The Rheem car was so fast... "I thought about it, and I probably should have used the top, just because I would have had the run down the backstretch. It seems that, as the race goes on, that the outside can stop spinning the tires, and the rubber lays down... " Andy made the point, and it all worked out, but I'll definitely learn from that, for sure." Smith, Wallace, Suarez and Ty Dillon qualified for next week's XFINITY Dash 4 Cash competition at Dover as the top four finishers among series regulars. Those drivers will compete for $100,000 in next Saturday's race at Dover, with the top finisher among them claiming the prize. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up quickly before Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Road America
NASCAR.com writers discuss racing in the rain, Brendan Gaughan's breakthrough win at Road America and whether or not Matt Kenseth will revisit Victory Lane at Kentucky
Gaughan earns first win in 98 Nationwide Series starts
Jon Housholder recaps the Coca-Cola 600 where Carl Edwards captured his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing, in what became a fuel mileage race to the checkers.
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner is joined by Chris Rice as they take you on a tour around the Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for the events of All-Star weekend.
Championship crew chief Andy Petree added as 'rules guru'
Drivers provide insight into racing for NASCAR's smaller teams How small is your team compared to the elite teams? Michael McDowell , Sprint Cup driver @Mc_Driver "There are a total of 12 guys in our shop -- going against teams that have anywhere between 150-300 people. The biggest difference is just the sheer ability to maximize all the details. At the same time, the sport does allow us to be fairly competitive. We have an alliance with Team Penske that allows us to stay closer to the game and stay relevant. You've got to start somewhere. Who knows, five years from now, we might be one of those teams with 50-100 people." Joe Nemechek , Sprint Cup driver @FrontRowJoe87 "There is no comparison. At one point, I drove for Felix Sabates and we had a three-car team. I drove for Andy Petree, where we had two cars. And I drove for Rick Hendrick, who had four cars. This team [for the Atlanta race], I just met these guys on Monday. I want to say they have six or eight guys. It's virtually impossible to be competitive, but we can put on a good show for smaller sponsorship dollars. We have to work, dig and claw for everything. I'm not saying the big teams don't do that, but it's unbelievable hours and a lot of work." Derrike Cope , XFINITY Series driver @DCopeTeam70 "We are pretty small. We have five full-time people, including myself. We all try to do a multitude of things. I do shock absorbers, we rebuild our own engines and we pretty much outsource all the fabrication work. It's a tough go." Mike Harmon , XFINITY Series driver @hrmn8ter "Besides myself, I've got two full-time employees. So I guess that would make us 10-times smaller." Big teams come to the track with totally fresh cars. Do you ever come to the track with a car that is just plain worn out? McDowell: "Over the years, I definitely have -- mostly with chassis and bodies. In years past, I've gotten into cars that I'm not sure I should have gotten into without getting a tetanus shot. Of late, it's not been like that." Nemechek: "You can always do things better. I've been doing this a long time, and you learn what's important. A lot of time, you can outsmart some of these guys." Cope: "We do that about every weekend, to be quite honest. We have to run the old engine and we're just basically trying to run on a limited amount of tires. We run a lot of used tires in the race. We buy used parts and pieces that have been discarded by other teams and try to assemble something that will be better than what we had before." Harmon: "As a racer, you always want to have the best equipment. In Nationwide , I've never been able to have that." For top teams, 12 seconds is a good time for a pit stop. How long does it take your crew? McDowell: "With our Team Penske alliance, we use some of their development guys to pit the car. That's big for us because they are very good." Nemechek: "We just have a bunch of misfits. We're on a 25-second pit stop cycle, but that's fine. As long as they get all the lug nuts on tight, we're good." Cope: "We're probably doing pit stops in the 15-16 second range. We rent a few pit crew members from other teams." Harmon: "We're looking at trying not to lose a lap when we pit. At places like Daytona or Talladega, where we can run in the draft, I hire a Sprint Cup crew. Anywhere else, we're here to make the show, run and keep the team alive." SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Persistence, consistency pay off for Whelen Southern Modified Champ MORE: Seuss gets engaged in Victory Lane RELATED: Home Tracks " Learn more on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour CONCORD, N.C. -- For six seasons, Andy Seuss couldn't quite get over the hump in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT). He had six straight top-five finishes in the final standings to go with 15 victories coming into this season but the championship always seemed just out of reach. For some of those seasons, George Brunnhoelzl III was in his way, racking up four titles in six years (2009, 2011-13). Seuss finished as the runner-up to him in 2009 and 2011, but 2014 was a different story and it was Seuss' time to shine. Entering the Southern Slam 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , the NWSMT season finale, Seuss (pronounced "SICE") needed to finish 12th or better to clinch the title. He did better than that with a fifth-place effort to finish 14 points ahead of Brunnhoelzl to take home the championship, the first for the New Hampshire native. "It's very special to be the only people to dethrone the 28 team (Brunnhoelzl) because they've been so strong," Seuss said. "I'm sure they walk around thinking they have a target on their back because everyone shoots for them. We had a great end of last year and in the offseason, we gained even more. " From his season-opening win at Caraway, where he led the entire race, Seuss was dialed in. He won three of series' first five races and nearly led wire-to-wire in the point standings, as he was out of first place just one week. In his three victories, Seuss led 449 of a possible 450 laps. "We knew we had to come out of the gate swinging," Seuss said. Seuss showed remarkable consistency all season long, finishing in the top nine in all 14 races and never starting worse than seventh. Burt Myers, who secured the tour title in 2010 and won the race at Charlotte, said that Seuss performed well all year and that becoming a first-time champion is a tremendous accomplishment. "That's something to be proud of," Myers said. "It's something that nobody can ever take away from you. Like I said, it will get him later. That team has run good all year; they've run good in the past and it just came together for them this year." Seuss' title driving for car owner Ed Harvey was the capstone for the special bond the two have formed over the past four years together. " Andy has become like a little brother that I never had," Harvey said sitting with Seuss in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Center. "And as far as I'm concerned, I've said it 100 times, I've put it out there in print, that red 11 car is Andy Seuss' ride as long as Andy Seuss wants that ride. If Andy decides to quit one day or move up one day or have the opportunity to move up, that's one thing. But until he tells me anything different, I've told him it's his ride for the rest of his life." The celebration and the evening took on an extra meaning for Seuss for several reasons. Just before joining the No. 11 team for Harvey, Seuss spent three seasons driving the No. 47 car for David Riggs, who was a longtime team owner in the Southern Modified Tour. Riggs passed away from a long battle with cancer in the days leading up to the season finale, something Seuss described as "heartbreaking." Seuss continued to use some of Riggs' cars while running for Harvey. Riggs quit his full-time racing operation after the 2010 season following the unexpected death of his son Jeff. "He gave me my big break when I went from running for our family, No. 70, to driving for a professional team," Seuss said of Riggs. "I think he really did help me the last few days. If nothing else, but he told me to ''shut up and drive' and not think. I couldn't think about it and it really, it was thrown at me a few times, but for the most part I didn't really wear the burden ... would've been awesome to have him here but really cool to dedicate it to him as well." Seuss' celebration also took on special significance of a romantic sort as he proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Jenn DeMarco, in Victory Lane at Charlotte. She said yes. "That's a pretty special deal," Seuss said. "I hadn't told anybody. Me and my mother had texted about it. We haven't even spoken about it. Maybe, because of the pressure I put on myself but I wanted it to be an extra special day with the championship. "My dad took the last two weeks off, traveling the whole country. We went up to Rhode Island to work on the chassis and back and forth and it was just the two of us in the truck. I feel terrible I didn't let him know. I know he knew through my mom but I couldn't get the words out because of just everything that this day meant." It was a night filled with lasting memories for Seuss and a night he won't soon forget . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView