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Trucks: Tyre call Dillon's key to victory lane

Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon took the chequered flag in the Fast Five 225 Truck race at Chicagoland, after a two-tyre call for his final stop put him out ahead of Kevin Harvick.
Austin Dillon was celebrating in victory lane, after a decision to go for two-tyre pit stops proved critical in putting him in front of Friday night's dominant driver, Kevin Harvick.

"This is the biggest win of my career, I think!" said the jubilant 21-year-old Richard Childress Racing driver in victory lane.

Harvick had led for 99 of the 150-lap Fast Five 225 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday evening, including the first 39 laps of the night after quickly dispatching polesitter Steve Arpin. By contrast Dillon led only 17, and all but three of them were in that vital final sprint to the chequered flag after the final round of pit stops.

The race saw only three cautions - two for debris and one for fluid on the track - for a total of 15 laps under yellow, allowing the trucks to get a good deal of long green flag running in during the one and a half hours it took on the 1.5 mile paved speedway, before a crowd of some 30,000 people.

That set up a final round of green flag pit stops with around 20 laps to go, and Harvick was the first of the front-runners to come in on lap 129. His hand was forced when it came to tyre strategy, after the #2 had picked up a nasty vibration during the proceeding 42 laps of racing partly as a result of having risked not changing tyres on the previous round of stops.

"[The vibration] definitely dictated a four-tyre call," said Harvick. "When it got to the point of shaking bad enough to where I knew something was changing, I just came in and changed four tires. I knew at that point, they [Dillon and Kyle Busch] were going to do the opposite, but we had to change four."

Kyle Busch responded next lap by with a two-tyre stop, but the king of the fast pit stops was out-performed on pit road for once by Dillon who came in on lap 131 for two new tyres of his own.

“I've been practicing getting on pit road,” said Dillon admitting he'd been learning from studying the Cup regular. “Kyle is the best to watch getting on pit road. I really focused on that."

Busch then lost out in a side-by-side battle with his old foe Harvick for second, and wasn't able to sustain that position for long either before being overtaken by series rookie rivals Nelson Piquet Jr. and Parker Kligerman in the final run to the flag.




Related Pictures

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Steve Arpin, driver of the #32 Mike`s Hard Lemonade Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fast Five 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 16 in Joliet, Ill. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fast Five 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 16 in Joliet, Ill. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, places the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, take the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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