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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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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