CONCORD, N.C. — Where Charlotte Motor Speedway is concerned, Austin Dillon doesn’t mind being a creature of habit.
After experienced veterans Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne knocked themselves out of contention on Lap 151 of Friday night’s Drive for the Cure 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the 1.5-mile track, Dillon streaked away from Erik Jones to win by 2.809 seconds over the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
With the victory, Dillon completed a season sweep at Charlotte, both wins coming from the pole position. The triumph was Dillon’s third of the season in the XFINITY Series and the sixth of his career.
Dillon’s closest call came not on the track, but during the pre-race ceremony. A fireball from one of the skyrockets used to liven up the proceedings dropped out of the evening sky and singed Dillon’s firesuit.
“I was actually praying, and the fireworks hit me in the back,” Dillon said. “I didn’t know if it was a sign from God or what. But it got me going right there with a firework in the butt.”
Brad Keselowski ran third, followed by Daniel Suarez and Regan Smith. Chris Buescher came home seventh and extended his series lead to 26 points over defending champion Chase Elliott, who finished ninth.
Busch lost several positions after a Lap 147 restart, and he and Kahne raced aggressively for third place—with repeated side-by-side contact between the two cars, before Busch pulled ahead. But Kahne drove hard into Turn 3 on Lap 151, tapping Busch’s Toyota twice and sending it up into the outside wall.
Kahne’s Chevrolet also sustained damage in the incident, but he managed to finish 12th. Busch took his car to the garage on Lap 154 and retired from the race in 31st place.
Before the incident, Busch had led a race-high 102 laps, taking over the all-time lead in the series at Charlotte with 1,288 laps led. Mark Martin was the previous record holder with 1,257.