Austin Dillon exited Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race after a heavy final-stage crash at Pocono Raceway, showing his displeasure with former teammate Tyler Reddick by throwing his helmet toward his car.
Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was nudged into a spin after contact with the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota of Reddick entering Turn 1 in the 106th of 160 laps in Sunday’s HighPoint.com 400. Dillon’s No. 3 Chevy careened into the outside retaining wall and skidded to a stop on the apron.
After Dillon was evaluated and released from the infield care center, he said that Reddick’s car drifted up into his rather than him cutting down on Reddick.
“I’m pissed about it because from my perspective, I couldn’t see him,” said Dillon, who finished 34th in the 36-car field. “I know I was three-wide, but my left-front (tire)’s in front of him. That’s the bigger thing. I’m in front of him, so I didn’t come down egregiously. He drove into the corner deep enough to try and get me back, like to get his right-front in front of my left-front. That was not possible with how I drove in the corner, and he wiped me out at the fastest part of the track.”
After the crash, Dillon lowered his window net to indicate to safety officials that he was not seriously hurt. The 33-year-old driver then walked toward the racing surface and hurled his helmet at Reddick’s No. 45 during the caution period.
He said during his interview that he should have had better aim as his helmet sailed wide.
“I was just trying to hit him,” Dillon said. “I’m pissed I didn’t lead it. They were going probably 65 (mph). If I would’ve started at the front of the car, I might’ve got him in the door.”
Reddick was a teammate to Dillon with Richard Childress’ team from 2020-22, and he joined 23XI Racing to start the season. Reddick drove away from the contact and finished second to fellow Toyota driver Denny Hamlin.
“First things first, I’m just glad he’s OK,” Reddick told NASCAR.com post-race. “Him and Brad (Keselowski) were on older tires, and I figured I’d take advantage of the momentum that I had and put them in a little three-wide. I was in the bottom lane, and he just tried to I think beat me in the corner a little bit and came down on myself. By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late and the contact had already took place.”
Dillon had been involved in an earlier incident in Turn 1, continuing after slight rear-end contact on the 42nd lap.
Reddick said post-race that he imagined that Dillon had texted him to initiate a conversation about the contact, adding that “it’s always better probably to talk after we’ve had some time to reflect on it.” After his check at the care center, Dillon said having a conversation wasn’t part of his plan.
“No, I just need to start wrecking some people,” Dillon said.