Austin Dillon earned his fourth-consecutive Pole Award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, setting an all-time series record, but ultimately posted a 20th-place finish in the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway after cutting a tire in the closing laps of the Alliance Truck Parts 250.
Dillon led the 39-car starting field to the green flag and showed the way for the first half of the race until the caution flag was displayed for a debris on lap 65. Several teams pitted under the yellow flag, but the No. 3 team followed a different pit strategy and stayed out during the caution period. Leading the field to the restart on lap 68, Dillon immediately dropped to seventh in the running order and reported that a left-rear tire was flat on the black No. 3 Chevrolet, forcing an unscheduled green-flag pit stop for four tires and fuel.
The pit stop caused Dillon to fall one lap down to the race leader, in the 16th position. Dillon raced his way into position to earn the “Lucky Dog” when the caution flag was displayed on lap 99 and rejoined the lead lap in 14th. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment before green-flag racing resumed with 23 laps of competition remaining.
During the closing laps, Dillon posted the fastest lap times of the field and raced his way up to ninth before contact with another car caused him to cut a right-front tire, necessitating a second unscheduled green-flag pit stop. The No. 3 AdvoCare pit crew changed four tires under green flag conditions and Dillon rejoined the field to post a 20th-place finish.
Start – 1 Finish – 20 Laps Led – 61 Points – 4th
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: Wow. It was a frustrating day. I’m very proud of my guys on the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet team. They did a great job. There’s nothing you can do about a flat tire. Hopefully our luck will change soon enough.”
-Richard Childress Racing PR