Elliott spins Dillon, gets first Truck win
September 01, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
The ensuing chaos on the track made for a dramatic finish for the series' inaugural trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with several teams -- including those of James Buescher, German Quiroga Jr., Max Papis and Dillon -- exchanging harsh words with fellow competitors.
In just his sixth career start, Elliott became the youngest winner in series history at the age of 17 years, 9 months and 4 days, eclipsing the record of fellow truck rookie Ryan Blaney, who was 18 years, 8 months and 15 days old when he first prevailed at Iowa Speedway last season.
“Obviously, happy to get to Victory Lane,” said Elliott, who led 22 of the event’s 64 laps. “Like I told everybody else, I hate to do it like that, but not very often do you have trucks as fast as what we had today and have the day go as good as it did for us today.”
After the race, Dillon confronted Elliott on his way to Victory Lane. In a post-race interview, the driver of the No. 3 truck sounded like the man who once drove a car with the same number.
“He just doesn’t have any respect,” said Dillon, who finished 17th after leading the most laps (25). “It was going to be an awesome points day for us, and I was racing hard, but man, you don’t just go through the grass and wreck somebody. Killed our truck. Killed our day. It’s just, here’s the point: You gotta be smarter than that when you run these races. You gotta earn respect. Next time, I hope he runs Iowa ‘cause he won’t finish the race.”
Elliott, who is scheduled to enter the Iowa Speedway event next Sunday, chalked some of the contact up to tight racing on the last lap, but he also said he knows he has fallen out of grace with Dillon.
“Everything comes full circle, and I’m sure it’s going to come back to me one day,” Elliott said. “I hope it doesn’t. I’ve learned that I’ve lost really, really close races; I’ve won really, really close races. Eventually things like that are going to come full circle.”
The veteran Papis, Dillon’s RCR teammate, got into a last-lap battle with road-racing ace Mike Skeen as the two raced for a podium finish. Contact between the two in the same corner dropped them to sixth and 13th respectively.
"It was just an amateur move," Papis said. "I don’t have time for guys like that."
As Papis walked away from a post-race interview with FOX Sports 1, a woman identifying herself as Mike Skeen's girlfriend slapped Papis, reminiscent of Papis’ smack of Billy Johnson after Papis and the Roush Fenway Racing driver got into it on the track and then on pit road after June's Road America race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Chad Hackenbracht drove through the carnage to take second place, his best career finish in the truck series. Miguel Paludo finished third with Darrell Wallace Jr. and Ron Hornaday Jr. completing the top five.
A caution came out with six laps to go as Johnny Sauter slowed to a halt on the Andretti straightaway. The caution laps helped Dillon try to stretch his final fuel run, but even then his truck began to sputter in the next-to-last lap.
Pole-sitter James Buescher, the defending series champion, lost the lead to Elliott on Lap 3 and was unable to get it back, finishing the race in ninth. Series leader Matt Crafton finished 10th, losing just two points to Buescher and emerging with a 47-point lead with eight races left in the season.
Instead of gaining on Buescher, Dillon stayed in third place in the standings, now 63 points off the lead. Jeb Burton, who finished 22nd in the 30-truck field after his truck experienced gear trouble, remained fourth, but dropped to 65 points behind Crafton.
Besides Sauter's late-race yellow, there were only three other caution flags thrown, two others for slowed trucks as Max Gresham and Alex Guenette lost speed on the track and one as Jennifer Jo Cobb's No. 10 took a trip through the grass off the 2.459-mile road course.
Quiroga went into the wall with three laps to go, but the race stayed green as he was able to re-fire his engine and continue on the track. Quiroga finished 15th after being involved in another incident as Hornaday tried to make it three-wide.