Austin Dillon administered an old-fashioned butt-kicking on the entire field to win Friday night’s Feed The Children 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
In the process, Dillon won his first Nationwide Series race in 26 career starts and was never once threatened, as he clearly was the class of the field, leading 192 of 200 laps in victory.
Kurt Busch finished second driving his brother Kyle’s No. 54 Toyota, followed by Kevin Harvick in a second RCR Chevy. Michael Annett had a career-best fourth-place finish, followed by Justin Allgaier.
But really, it was no contest from the get-go.
Dillon started from the pole in his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and set the early pace, whipping the field from the drop of the green flag. By Lap 60, he had a lead of 2.947 seconds over teammate Kevin Harvick, with defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in third.
Stenhouse got up to second but had a disastrous pit stop on Lap 83 that took about 30 seconds because his jackman fell and injured himself during the stop. Stenhouse was about 1.5 seconds behind Dillon when he pitted but came out some 25 seconds back of him.
By Lap 100, the halfway point, Dillon had led the whole way, save for five laps when green-flag pitstops were taking place. His margin over Harvick at that point was 8.526 seconds, with Kurt Busch third.
Busch passed Harvick for second on Lap 115 and slowly began to close on Dillon, who was still 8 seconds ahead at this point. Ten laps later, the gap was down to 6.153 seconds, as it looked like a race might break out.
Then, on Lap 141, Mike Wallace hit the wall in Turn 4 to bring out a caution, just after Dillon had pitted.
With just nine cars on the lead lap at this point, Busch went for the lead on the restart and briefly got ahead of Dillon, only to see the black No. 3 sail away again and open up a lead of 2.834 seconds by Lap 157.
From there, he was never threatened, cruising to an easy victory.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.