Last weekend Ty Dillon was in the center of controversy.
Friday night, he and his No. 3 Chevrolet were in the center of Victory Lane.
With 30 of 147 laps remaining, Dillon passed Ryan Blaney and cruised to a win in the WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway.
The win is Dillon’s second of the season and third of his career.
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“I wasn’t going to lose this race. I’ve let too many get away from me this year,” said Dillon, who is third in the series standings, 47 behind leader Matt Crafton with two races remaining.
“I wanted to win this race so bad for my guys.”
When Ryan Blaney briefly took the after the third caution of the race and Dillon drifted back into a battle for third place, his confidence shook.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh no, not again.’ I was not going to let it happen,” he said. “I would have done whatever it took to win.”
The win came less than a week after Dillon got in a much-publicized on-track incident at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with veteran Kevin Harvick, who also drives for Richard Childress Racing.
After he wrecked out of the race, Harvick referred to Ty and his brother Austin Dillon as spoiled rich kids. Harvick has since apologized.
Ty Dillon said he was trying to do a better job of not letting little things bother him. “I’m not going to worry about the points – we just want to win more races,” he said.
Johnny Sauter finished second, Ron Hornaday was third, Brendan Gaughan was fourth and Justin Lofton was fifth.
Crafton, the series points leader, finished 10th and holds a 46-point lead over James Buescher. Crafton can technically clinch his first series championship if he holds at least a 49-point lead over second place after next weekend’s race at Phoenix.
“It’s a shame because we really thought we had something to race for the win whenever practice finished and we were just horrendous at best when we fired off,” Crafton said.
“We made a really big change right there at the end and when it came to life it was definitely better. I can’t thank these guys enough for working as hard as they did and never gave up – none of us did.”