Determined Dillon, crew rally to finish third
August 17, 2013, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Ty Dillon overcame a problem-filled pit stop just past the halfway point of Saturday’s Michigan National Guard 200 at Michigan International Speedway to score a third-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
“We had an issue …” Dillon said of the stop that took place after he hit pit road under the day’s fourth caution. The jack dropped, and “the tire wasn’t there."
“We had quite a few issues going on there, but I still felt like we had a chance. We still had plenty of laps left and I knew our truck was plenty fast. The way we race around here in these trucks at Michigan, anything can happen.”
Second behind race leader Kyle Busch before the stop, Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet restarted outside the top 20. He was running 12th five laps later when John Wes Townley spun to bring out another yellow, until another stop left him 16th on the ensuing restart.
“I don’t think you're ever OK with (a pit problem),” Dillon said. “When you go in second and come out 22nd or whatever …. My guys work hard so I can’t beat up on them too much. They never have things like that happen.”
It was a “rare instance,” he said. “You get frustrated at first, but what can you do about it?”
Another incident, this one involving German Quiroga, saw Dillon finally break back into the top 10, and with 15 laps remaining, he was just outside the top five.
One final restart that saw Busch, Miguel Paludo, eventual race winner James Buescher, Brendan Gaughan, Timothy Peters and Dillon scrambling for real estate shook out without incident, and allowed Dillon to grab third.
The finish gained Dillon one spot in the points standings, from fifth to fourth, after 12 races. He trails third-place Buescher by 10 and is 62 behind points leader Matt Crafton.
“Our restarts weren’t too good all day … we tried some stuff with our transmission to try to find and advantage and it ended up hurting us,” Dillon said.
“Anybody that was on the bottom would lose a lot of spots (on restarts) and we lost a lot every time it felt like. We came back and had such a fast (truck) that we were able to pass a lot of (trucks).”
• Crafton, penalized for an uncontrolled tire during the same stop that Dillon had his issues, finished ninth. It was his 12th consecutive top-10 finish this season and he now leads Jeb Burton by 51 points.
“You have to have track position,” Crafton said. “It was everything. The 31 (Buescher) got one run on the restart -- he started right in front of me -- and then all of a sudden he wins the race.
“It was all just about a momentum restart, and we just never had really good ones there toward the end.”
• Ryan Blaney took the day’s biggest points hit, falling five spots from third to eighth with a last-place finish. The Brad Keselowski Racing driver spun and crashed after contact from Darrell Wallace Jr. on the first lap of the race.