(WOMR file photo)
Austin Dillon led just nine laps Saturday night, including the one that mattered most, the one that ended in his car being the first car to the checkered flag!
Dillon, grandson of legendary team owner Richard Childress, outlasted Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott during a green-white-checkered finish to claim the crash-filled Subway Firecracker 250, the NASCAR XFINITYSeries race at Daytona International Speedway.
“This is Daytona, man,” Dillon said during the post-race celebration. “There are so many family memories here. … I’m just happy for my grandfather. He told me once, when we were here in Victory Lane with Dale Earnhardt, that you’ll have this opportunity one day. It means so much to be here.”
A multi-car crash on Lap 96 of the 100-lap race took out race leader Brian Scott, who led 84 laps and was in front, and instigated the crash. Scott moved to the outside line to block Elliott Sadler, however the blocking move was untimely because Scott was not clear of Sadler’s hot rod and the ultimate results of that move put Scott head on into the fence! Additionally, Scott collected several cars on his trip to the fence and corresponding rebound back into the field of cars behind him. Miraculously Dillon slipped through the crash, then stayed ahead of Elliott after the final restart.
Sadler recovered from the crash and surged past Elliott as the field reached the checkered flag to finish second. Afterward, he blamed Scott for the crash.
“Either Brian’s spotter or Brian tried to make the move too late to block us,” Sadler said. “We were already up to his right rear door. It wrecked us, man. This is Daytona. It’s a shame. We had a car good enough to win.”
Scott admitted the move was aggressive and poorly timed, but said he thought Sader could have given him room.
“I told myself I was going to be aggressive, and I was going for the win,” Scott said. “I was trying to time that run. I knew the outside lane was coming. Obviously I mistimed it a little bit, but I still felt like I gave them room to split me and go high. Instead of going high on me, he turned me into the wall.”
Did Brian Scott really think that, with just four laps to go, Elliott Sadler, who was in second place, would get out of the gas and let Scott block his run for the lead.
Come on Brian!
It is unfortunate that blocking has become a part of the plate racing these days. However there can be a price to pay for blocking. Sometimes when the blockee isn’t willing to give up the real estate that he has previously acquired prior to the said block, the blocker gets a free trip to the SAFER barrier! The net results is a rapidly stopping race car with severe damage to, quite possibly, all four corners of the race car, which results in crumpled sheet metal, a bruised ego, and a temper that has gone AWOL!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!