Sliding Into History: Austin Dillon Takes Eldora

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

“This is real racing…” is how history maker Austin Dillon described the inaugural MudSummer Classic as in victory lane following the race. Dillon put on a show by leading just about the whole second part of the race. He held off many charges by Kyle Larson, but Larson couldn’t get to the front on the final restarts. Eldora’s first race was a spectacular one and NASCAR’s return to dirt was undoubtedly successful.

The oldest pole-sitter in NASCAR history, Ken Schrader at 58 years old, started the race off on the pole and he led until lap 16 when Timothy Peters took the lead. Peters showed that you didn’t need dirt experience to do well by leading 23 laps until Larson slid up to the top spot.

Larson started the second segment out in the lead, but just past the halfway point in the 50 lap segment was when Austin Dillon took the lead for the first and last time. Dillon finished the middle part of the race up front and that’s where he started the final segment at.

The final segment of the race didn’t even get five laps in before the eagerness to get to the front caused a wreck. Going down the backstretch, Jared Landers spun out and he spun down into Ty Dillon, sending Dillon into the wall. Johnny Sauter also had damage along with the second place driver in the standings, Jeb Burton.

Other than that wreck, it was a fairly clean night. There was some rubbing for positions, but that turned out to be the only yellow-flag for a truck.

A few debris cautions stacked up the field with 11 laps to go and then with 3, and the final one set up a green-white-checkered finish. Letting the trucks loose with 2 laps remaining on dirt could only call for disaster, but disaster never struck. Austin Dillon pulled away while Larson was left with a windshield full of dust as Dillon crossed the line to make history.

Dillon did more than just win the race; he made history by winning NASCAR’s return to dirt. He’s likely going to be the only driver ever able to say that. Last time NASCAR was on dirt, Richard Petty won and his career turned out pretty good, so this win could be a sign of what’s to come for Dillon.

By Jason Schultz

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER CAR MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Austin Dillon 39 Chevrolet

153

19

64

0

0

0

2 Kyle Larson 30 Chevrolet

153

13

51

0

0

0

3 Ryan Newman 34 Chevrolet

153

10

0

0

0

0

4 Joey Coulter 18 Toyota

153

11

0

40

0

0

5 Brendan Gaughan 62 Chevrolet

153

8

0

39

0

0

6 Timothy Peters 17 Toyota

153

3

23

39

1

0

7 Darrell Wallace Jr. 54 Toyota

153

17

0

37

0

0

8 Matt Crafton 88 Toyota

153

7

0

36

0

0

9 Dave Blaney 19 Ford

153

6

0

0

0

0

10 Max Gresham 8 Chevrolet

153

14

0

34

0

0

11 Dakoda Armstrong 60 Chevrolet

153

22

0

33

0

0

12 Jared Landers 6 Chevrolet

153

2

0

32

0

0

13 Tracy Hines 13 Toyota

153

16

0

31

0

0

14 Ken Schrader 52 Toyota

153

1

15

0

0

0

15 Ryan Blaney 29 Ford

153

23

0

29

0

0

16 Ty Dillon 3 Chevrolet

153

15

0

28

0

0

17 Kenny Wallace 81 Toyota

153

4

0

0

0

0

18 Jeb Burton 4 Chevrolet

153

5

0

26

0

0

19 James Buescher 31 Chevrolet

153

9

0

25

0

0

20 German Quiroga Jr. 77 Toyota

153

25

0

24

0

0

21 Miguel Paludo 32 Chevrolet

153

12

0

23

0

0

22 John Wes Townley 7 Toyota

152

24

0

22

0

0

23 Justin Jennings 63 Chevrolet

151

29

0

21

0

0

24 Jason Bowles 5 Chevrolet

151

28

0

0

0

0

25 Scott Bloomquist 51 Toyota

151

21

0

19

0

0

26 Norm Benning 57 Chevrolet

149

30

0

18

0

0

27 Brennan Newberry 24 Chevrolet

145

26

0

17

0

0

28 Ron Hornaday Jr. 9 Chevrolet

137

18

0

16

0

0

29 Johnny Sauter 98 Toyota

120

20

0

15

0

0

30 Jeff Babcock 84 Chevrolet

63

27

0

14

0

0

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