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‘The Ace’ Austin Dillion wins in the Lone Star State

Austin Dillon - photo Larry Robinson - BSN

FORT WORTH – July 19, 2020 – Anthony Holbrook

2017 Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon fought off a hard-charging challengers in the closing lap restarts to capture Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 hosted by Texas Motor Speedway.

Richard Childress Racing’s rookie teammate Tyler Reddick finishing a mere .149-seconds behind Dillon sweeping a 1-2 RCR knockout punch.

The third victory of Dillion’s NASCAR Cup career solidifies an automatic berth in 2020 NASCAR Cup Playoff top-16.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney dominated the race, leading more laps than anybody else with 150 laps led and winning the first two stages.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500  Stage 1 recap:

  • On Lap 69, Ryan Blaney drives by Kyle Busch and reassumes to the race lead.
  • With 15 circuits remaining Blaney pits forfeiting the race lead.
  •  Blaney recycle back to the point passing Kyle Bush for Stage 1 win.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Results – Stage 1  

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Kyle Busch

3. Kevin Harvick

4. Tyler Reddick

5. William Byron

6. Kurt Busch

7. Jimmie Johnson

8. Alex Bowman

9. Chris Buescher

10. Martin Truex Jr

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Stage 1 recap:

  • Green flag fly’s on Stage 1 , Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch run side by side into turn one, off turn two and into turn three. They remain side by side a full lap. Busch drives it deep into turn three on the bottom and clears Blaney.
  • Lap 123, Kyle Busch runs the middle in turn three as Gibbs teammate Denny Hamlin cuts to the bottom.  Rookie Christopher Bell tags the wall behind them, no caution. Hamlin completes the pass for the lead.
  • Lap 126, Denny Hamlin guards the middle lane in turn three. Ryan Blaney cuts off the Hamlin’s banking and sling shots under him off turn four. Blaney secures the post.
  • Lap 161, Ryan Blaney opted to pits surrendering track position for pit attention. By Lap 192, Blaney pilots his way back to the front cruising to his second Stage win of the race.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Results – Stage 2

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Joey Logano

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Kurt Busch

5. Kevin Harvick

6. Martin Truex Jr

7. Chase Elliott

8. Aric Almirola

9. Erik Jones

10. Kyle Busch

Austin Dillon wins at the Lone Star State after a late strategy call under caution to take two tires and put the Childress’ Chevy on the front row for the upcoming restart aside of Reddick, who gained valuable track position not taking tires.

Dillon claimed the lead from Reddick and held off his teammate upon two other additional restarts. The drivers in the second row accommodating a restart boost to the leaders bumpers were Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch, and they settled for third and fourth place in their #22 Ford and #18 Toyota, respectively.

As a miscalculated pit stop on the final restart shuffled Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 Ford out off the lead lap contention.  Blaney would settle for a disappointing seventh place finish after winning previous Stages.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Final Results:

1st – Austin Dillon
2nd – Tyler Reddick
3rd – Joey Logano
4th – Kyle Busch
5th – Kevin Harvick
6th – Erik Jones
7th – Ryan Blaney
8th – Kurt Busch
9th – Brad Keselowski
10th – Aric Almirola
11th – Clint Bowyer
12th – Chase Elliott
13th – Ryan Newman
14th – Bubba Wallace
15th – Michael McDowell
16th – Corey LaJoie
17th – Matt DiBenedetto
18th – Matt Kenseth
19th – Chris Buescher
20th – Denny Hamlin
21st – Christopher Bell
22nd – John Hunter Nemechek
23rd – Daniel Suarez
24th – J.J. Yeley
25th – Gray Gaulding
26th – Jimmie Johnson
27th – Brennan Poole
28th – Reed Sorenson
29th – Martin Truex Jr.
30th – Alex Bowman
31st – Josh Bilicki
32nd – Joey Gase
33rd – B.J. McLeod
34th – Quin Houff
35th – Ty Dillon
36th – Timmy Hill
37th – William Byron
38th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
39th – Cole Custer
40th – Ryan Preece

Lead Changes

29 lead changes / 12 Drivers

Caution Periods

10 caution flag periods including (1 Competition and 2 Stage Competition Flags)

Of the seven non-planned caution flag periods, six took place in the final stage, including a massive pileup on the front straightaway that involved several contenders and brought out a red flag.

Of the 40 drivers who competed in the event, 32 completed the race and 18 cars finished on the lead lap.

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season is now halfway complete, and the first race of the second half is scheduled to take place this Thursday, July 23 at Kansas Speedway for the Super Start Batteries 400,  l NBC Sports Network   7:30 p.m. ET. / Sirius NASCAR Radio 90

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