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Ty Dillon avoids late-race wreck, wins second Dash 4 Cash event
RELATED: At-track photos " Full results " Standings post-race RICHMOND, Va. -- Ty Dillon had visions of a six-figure payday when he unloaded for a compact, rain-tightened NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Richmond International Raceway , but several factors stood in the way of him endorsing the check. Dillon overcame the odds and cashed in Saturday with a runner-up effort in the ToyotaCare 250 , claiming the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus as the top-finishing XFINITY Series regular among the eligible four-driver pool. He did it all with an interim crew chief, a nifty move through a slam-bang restart near the end -- all happening at a race track that hadn't historically been his favorite. "You're sure we're at Richmond, right? Because this place has been really tough on me and our team as a whole," Dillon said after finishing a close .226 seconds behind race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . "To finish second, to run the way we did all day was just impressive for us." Dillon foiled fellow Dash 4 Cash drivers Brennan Poole , Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier -- all three of whom spent time leading, but none of whom wound up in the top five at race's end. Each caught varying degrees of damage in a multi-car pileup in the next-to-last restart; Poole trudged on to finish 10th, but Jones (34th) and Allgaier (35th) each retired early with severely bent race cars. Dillon was without his regular crew chief, Nick Harrison, who was serving a one-race suspension for a technical infraction the previous week. As a result, Danny Efland -- a former driver currently serving as an engineer -- took over the pit box for the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet team in an interim role. Dillon sat fifth for the penultimate restart, third among Dash 4 Cash drivers. Poole held the lead, his No. 48 Chevrolet team gambling by staying on the race track with older tires to gain track position. Allgaier ran second and in position for the Dash 4 Cash prize for much of the race and lined up there for the return to green with six laps left. But Earnhardt Jr., third on the restart, dove low inside of Poole and Allgaier to forge a three-wide contest for the lead heading to Turn 1. Earnhardt vaulted to the lead, but Poole slid into Allgaier, knocking his JR Motorsports No. 7 into a prolonged slide and entangling pole-starter Jones as part of a nine-car stack but sparing Dillon from the carnage. Allgaier emerged from his battered ride, punching a trash can in frustration before entering the JRM hauler. "It sucks to run that well all day and to have nothing to show for it," Allgaier said. "Obviously being a part of the Dash 4 Cash program and was loving to go for that $100,000, but ultimately for the race win. Instead, I'm standing here in street clothes. Just a frustrating way to end the day, but we've got fast race cars and we'll be back next week." Jones, who divided the heat-race victories with Dillon, was also unable to continue, retiring after 134 of an overtime-extended 149 laps. He also had to contend with an angry Mike Harmon , who confronted the teenager in his hauler after their contact brought out the first caution flag and forced the fateful restart. "I think racing is a sport of highs and lows -- we had our highs last weekend and we have our lows this week," said Jones, who captured the Dash 4 Cash opener last weekend at Bristol. "Just an unfortunate day for us. We were off all day and then it just got worse as it went on." Poole absorbed significant damage, but limped home to register his second top-10 finish of the season. He chalked up the contact to typical short-track restarts in the late going, but also applauded his Chip Ganassi Racing crew's decision to shake up its strategy. "I think that's what you have to do, and Junior had to do what he had to do to get to the inside of me," Poole said of the late-race scramble. "I'd have done the same thing. We're all racing hard. There's only eight laps to go. The restart is really the best way to make up track position, so we're all just battling tight for it and it's just how it goes at the end of these races sometimes. You're battling as hard as you can." The next NASCAR XFINITY Series race featuring the Dash 4 Cash bonus is scheduled May 14 at Dover International Speedway . MORE: See how Dash 4 Cash work s
Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon set to battle for first at Road America
RELATED: Updated standings Chris Buescher gambled at Bristol and almost came up big. The key word in the previous sentence: 'Almost.' The 22-year-old Roush Fenway Racing driver took the lead at the .533-mile track after electing not to pit on Lap 192 of 300. Buescher paced the field for the next 106 laps, but a fuel pick-up issue on the penultimate go-around of the race ended any hopes of triumph. Buescher was relegated to 11th, while Ty Dillon finished third, cutting Buescher's NASCAR XFINITY Series points lead to 19. If Buescher didn't go for the win, he wouldn't have lost as many points to Dillon. "We had the speed, but it wasn't meant to be," Buescher said. "I'm glad we took the chance. I wouldn't change it if we could do it over again, but unfortunately it knocked us right out of a top-10 and out of a win." RELATED: Buescher: 'I'm glad we took the chance' Buescher and Dillon will continue to battle for the points lead in Saturday's Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (3 p.m. on NBCSN) -- the third and final XFINITY Series road course race of the season. The two drivers are the only competitors who finished in the top five of the previous two road course races. A natural on road courses, Buescher won at Mid-Ohio last year in addition to his two top fives while turning left and right this year. He placed 18th in his lone start at Road America last season. " Road America is a very difficult and unique road course," Buescher said. "I love road racing and look forward to the challenge." Dillon finished 19th in his first-ever series start at Road America last year. He enters Saturday's race riding a streak of four top-five finishes. "Our team is looking at the big picture and sometimes we have to take a step back and realize that this is a long season; to take it little by little," Dillon said. "This past weekend in Bristol was a perfect example -- we struggled the first part of practice but (Crew Chief) Nick (Harrison), (Race Engineer) Danny ( Efland ) and the team just took a step back and reevaluated. We have a championship to win here and it won't be easy. "We have 11 races to go and we're not going to let up."
Trackside Live: Kentucky Show 1
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Daniel Hemric join NASCAR Trackside Live in Kentucky.
GarageCam: Drivers hope to kiss the bricks
Drivers gear up to conquer Indianapolis Motor Speedway in hopes of kissing the bricks on Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GarageCam with host Matthew Dillner.
Burton wins Keystone Light Pole at Talladega
Burton wins his sixth pole of the 2013 season
Trackside Live: Danica Patrick, Matt DiBenedetto, Kurt Busch join the show
Danica Patrick answers questions from kids, Kurt Busch throws a lobster and Matt DiBenedetto eats a giant burrito. Just another episode of Trackside Live!
Full Race Replay: 2017 Talladega-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned his first career Monster Energy Series win in a race that had plenty of late drama. Relive it all here.
Trackside Live: Dale Jr., Bowyer, Austin, Blaney cut loose with Marcus Smith
Check out New Hampshire Motor Speedway's first NASCAR Trackside Live show featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon.
Danny Bohn Rides on Roof at UNOH Battle At the Beach
Danny Bohn Rides on Roof at UNOH Battle At the Beach.
Part 1: The Intimidator's Day at Talladega
Editor's note: This story was originally published Oct. 21, 2015. The trunks of NASCAR race cars don't typically have much utilitarian value. There's the fuel cell and that's about it. There's no need for extra freight when traveling at 200 mph. However, those with VIP privileges or an employee card at Richard Childress Racing 's sprawling museum in Welcome, North Carolina, know there's treasure inside the trunk of the dozens of retired cars housed there, many of which were wheeled by NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt. Steve Ramey, the museum's curator in residence, pulls the fastening pins and raises the decklid on one in particular, an imposing black No. 3 car that might otherwise blend in with the others. "I get to pinch myself if you want to know the truth, knowing that when I go to work and I step out of my office, I walk into a room with the black number 3 cars from the day," Ramey says. "But this car here gets a lot of respect from the fans because they know the meaning of it. … This was his chance, his day and his race, and he took it and brought it home. It means a lot to them." Every car at the RCR Museum has a story, but this one stands out. The cargo that Ramey's looking for on this specific Monday, though, isn't in the trunk. It triggers his memory -- he had removed it for reference. Once he tracks down the three-ring binder specific to RCR Chassis No. 58, the lore gains even more clarity. The loose-leaf sheets in nondescript folders document each rolling artifact in the museum with pictures, notes and the crew chief's log. The next-to-last entry for Chassis 58 is a telling one, both succinct and understated considering the magnitude of what the car -- and more importantly, the driver -- accomplished in its last race. "Had good race car & Dale did rest." This is the story of the 2000 Winston 500, where Dale Earnhardt drove to the last of his 76 NASCAR premier series victories at Talladega Superspeedway . His 10th victory at the Alabama track -- still an all-time record -- came in stunning fashion, with a rally from 18th place to first in the final five laps. By then, Earnhardt's legend was already well-established -- as a stock-car racing deity, a hard charger, as "The Intimidator" -- but the impact of his final win went beyond the highlight-reel finish. The transcendent performance earned its place in NASCAR history, stirring an already frenzied fan base into hysteria that autumn afternoon. This summer, NASCAR.com interviewed 31 people -- drivers, officials, crewmen and broadcasters -- who were at Talladega that day for their personal accounts of the tumultuous race weekend. For this oral history surrounding the race's 15th anniversary, all interview subjects are listed with their job title or role on Oct. 15, 2000, the day Dale Earnhardt shook the Alabama grandstands with seismic force and embraced his final checkered flag. There are 12 entries for Chassis No. 58, perhaps none as important as the log for Oct. 15, 2000 -- "Had good race car & Dale did the rest." • • • • • The Man and his Playground "If you call that racing, OK. So be it. We'll just sit in line. … They could take the restrictor plate off and we'll see who'll hold it wide open around here." -- Dale Earnhardt, Talladega, Oct. 11, 1997. Dale Earnhardt's contradictory love-hate relationship with the 2.66-mile Alabama speed plant might fly in the face of conventional wisdom, especially for a man who so ably maneuvered its high banks to win 10 times. While he freely expressed his disdain for the speed-sapping restrictor plates, which limited carburetion and choked engine power, Earnhardt was also extraordinarily adept at the tightly woven, aero-dependent racing they produced. The track had dished out its share of hard hits to The Intimidator over the years, but also a lion's share of its laurels. Grant Lynch (Chairman, Talladega Superspeedway ): His picture is up in our media center, with his comments to the other drivers about, 'If you don't want to race at Talladega, tie a kerosene-soaked rag around your ankles so the ants don't come up there and eat that candy ass.' … He believed when you came here this was another race and you're supposed to race. A lot of people didn't take that same attitude. Ray Dunlap (pit reporter, ESPN): You have to remember that Earnhardt hated that kind of racing and it was so funny because he was so good at it, but he would really get himself worked up before those races started. Bill Elliott (owner/driver, Bill Elliott Racing No. 94 Ford): He was really, really a good drafter, just like what Tony Stewart once said. He said, 'It's a high-speed chess game and I can't even play checkers.' I think Earnhardt was a good chess player. Andy Petree (team owner, Andy Petree Racing): There was nobody better at that kind of racing than he was -- nobody. He had like this sixth sense. It's almost like being on the highway and trying to figure out which lane is gonna move. Darrell Waltrip (driver, Haas-Carter Motorsports No. 66 Ford): He was just so, so aggressive. If there was an opening, he took it. And if there wasn't an opening, he'd make one. He just drove harder at Daytona and Talladega than I think he did anyplace else, and he kind of went where other people were kind of afraid to go or other people wouldn't go. Bobby Labonte (driver, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Pontiac): It was like he was Superman, which he was. He was really good at it, but his driving style helped that ... his intimidation factor, I guess you might say. He had fast race cars, but he could take a car that wasn't so fast every day and do better with it than anybody else because he was better at drafting and making that move. Next thing you know, he's in front of you and it's like, 'How did that happen?' Not everybody else could do that but him, seemed like. Dale Earnhardt Jr . (driver, Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevrolet): He wasn't this maniac that just wanted to go faster. I think everybody had the curiosity of what would the cars drive like and what would the race be like if they were unrestricted. It's just, we'd be going 230 miles an hour, I think. Danny "Chocolate" Myers (fueler, Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet): Earnhardt was a driver. If he was running good, he loved plate racing. If he was running bad, he hated plate racing, I guess. Earnhardt Jr.: I'm sure he felt more confidence over the competition when he got to those races. He respected his competitors and the guys he was out there racing against, but I think he felt like he was sort of the best at those tracks. Lynch: I have told the drivers a couple times in the driver's meeting, I don't think Talladega is any driver's favorite race track, probably won't ever be, but when they get their minds right and they do what they can do here, it cannot be duplicated at any race track in the world by any form of motorsports. It just can't be done. Earnhardt's uncanny skill at restrictor-plate racing and manipulating aerodynamics in his favor promoted a myth that grew into a key piece of NASCAR folklore -- that he could see the air. Lynch: You've heard it said that he could see air. Well, he could definitely see something. Waltrip: He had that open-face helmet and the little pair of bubble goggles and everybody always said, 'Oh, he could see the air,' but he really couldn't see it, he could feel it. If you ever look at him laying over, his head about halfway hanging out that left window with that open-face helmet and those bubble goggles. I don't think it was so much he could see it, but he could feel it and I think that really helped him find the right path to take -- the path of least resistance sometimes.