Austin Dillon drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet to a third-place finish in the F.W. Webb 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon, marking the team's 10th top-five finish of the 2012 season.
By besting the performances of fellow Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash competitors Ricky Stenhouse, Elliott Sadler and Michael Annett, Dillon earned a $100,000 bonus and qualified for the next Dash 4 Cash race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Dillon started the 200-lap race from the 12th position and immediately advanced his track position, climbing to the sixth position before a lap-36 caution provided the Sunoco Rookie an opportunity to pit. By taking right-side tires and fuel instead of the four-tire stop implemented by many of their competitors, the AdvoCare team gained five positions on pit road and Dillon was scored as the race leader when green-flag racing resumed at lap 41.
The No.3 Chevrolet proved strong contender for the remainder of the 200-lap race as Dillon hovered in the top five, leading the Dash 4 Cash competitors until Stenhouse made a pass on Dillon for the fourth position with 40 laps remaining. Dillon hung back until he could get a run on Stenhouse and regained the position 10 laps later, ultimately posting a third-place finish.
Dillon remains second in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, three markers shy of RCR teammate Sadler's lead.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: "Winning our first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway was our number one moment of the year, but this finish and winning the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash bonus is a very close second. We had a heck of a battle there and I think it really showed how deep this team can dig. We came to this race without our crew chief and without our car chief, but still set up a great race car and had it ready for the race. We started 12th and advanced our position quickly. That was a great call by our interim crew chief, Gil Martin, to take two tires.
"The Dash 4 Cash racing was awesome. Ricky Stenhouse got up there near the end and had a good restart. I had a good restart but I just couldn't get going on the bottom. They hung me down. I kept working and working and working and I gave it my all. We're looking forward to Chicago next weekend to keep this momentum going."