Hampton, GA – Rookie Ty Dillon became the next first-time race winner in the Camping World Truck Series this season after passing Kyle Busch for the lead with just six laps to go in Friday night's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Dillon, the 2011 ARCA Series champion and 20-year-old grandson of NASCAR multi-team owner Richard Childress, benefited from a caution with 25 laps remaining in the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200. Busch held a four-second lead over the field before the yellow flag was displayed for debris on the backstretch. During the caution, Dillon beat Busch out of the pits and led the way for the restart with 21 laps left.
Busch reclaimed the top spot just after the restart and established a sizeable lead, but Dillon came roaring back. Just after Dillon made his winning pass, Busch bumped into the outside wall twice and lost momentum from there.
Dillon went on to beat Busch to the finish line by 3.2 seconds. His win comes one week after finishing a season-worst 21st at Bristol. Dillon ran out of fuel with less than two laps to go there.
"It's an amazing night," said Dillon, who started on the pole and led a total of 40 laps en route to his first win. "If that (third and last) caution wouldn't have come out, we wouldn't have made it on fuel again. I'm so happy for how hard we've worked. We're battling for the championship. Our team doesn't give up."
Dillon's first win in the Truck Series came in his 17th start. He also became the sixth first-time race winner this season, joining John King (Daytona), James Buescher (Kansas), Justin Lofton (Charlotte), Joey Coulter (Pocono) and Nelson Piquet Jr. (Michigan). Coulter is Dillon's teammate at Richard Childress Racing.
"Man, I'm just so happy and excited that I finally won a NASCAR race," Dillon said. "I've been wanting to do it my whole life, and to finally do it, means so much."
His elder brother, Austin, won last year's truck championship. Austin is now a rookie competitor in the Nationwide Series.
Driving his own No. 18 Toyota, Busch made his first truck start since his run- in with Ron Hornaday Jr. last November at Texas. Busch led a race-high 75 laps in this race.
"We just got beat on setup tonight," he said. "I felt like the truck was decent, but we just don't have a good enough handle on it in the long runs, so we kind of struggled there."
James Buescher finished third, followed by Parker Kligerman and Aric Almirola, who made his first start in trucks since the 2011 season-opener at Daytona.
Kyle Larson, Coulter, Piquet Jr., Matt Crafton and Kurt Busch completed the top-10. This was the first truck race that Kyle and Kurt Busch faced each other on the racetrack.
Kurt Busch drove the No. 51 Chevrolet for team owner Billy Ballew, in association with Busch's Sprint Cup Series team, Phoenix Racing, which is owned by James Finch.
Hornaday, the defending race winner, was involved in a three-truck accident on lap 37. He ended up finishing 30th.
Timothy Peters, who won at Bristol after leading all 204 laps, finished 13th at Atlanta and remained the points leader, but Buescher trimmed Peters advantage to just six points. Dillon moved to within nine markers of the lead.