Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie Ty Dillon became a first-time race winner in the Nationwide Series after passing Kyle Busch for the lead late in the race and then holding off Busch in the closing laps in Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Dillon, the 22-year-old grandson of NASCAR multi-team owner Richard Childress and younger brother of Sprint Cup Series rookie Austin Dillon, pulled ahead of Busch and took the lead for the first time following a restart on lap 77. The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing ran in front for the final 24 laps around this historic 2.5-mile racetrack to claim his maiden win in Nationwide, which occurred in his 31st career start.
"When you got the best guy in the business [Busch] behind you, it's tough," Dillon said. "It's tough to stay focused and not give up."
Dillon also collected a $100,000 bonus from series title sponsor Nationwide Insurance for being the highest finisher among the four drivers eligible for the "Dash 4 Cash" at Indianapolis.
"The emotions are incredible," he said. "I came here [to Indy] two years ago and finished third in my second Nationwide race ever. There's just something about this place that feels right to me. I feel comfortable. I don't know what it is. But the main thing was [crew chief] Danny Stockman Jr. gave me a car that I felt like I could go out there and win with from the moment we unloaded. He put me in a position to win, and we did it.
"I wasn't going to let this thing go. I wasn't going to let it slip. My guys have gone through some hard stuff this year, and they haven't given up on me. So I was definitely going to give them all I had."
Dillon had scored 11 top-10 finishes in the first 17 Nationwide races in 2014 but had not posted a top-five run this season until last weekend's event at Chicagoland.
"It was really cool to see him win," Childress said of his grandson's victory at Indianapolis. "He's had a tough year this year. He's had some close runs. But to come up here and win at Indy and race with the guys that he was racing with, it was a great day for RCR, Ty Dillon and the whole family."
Dillon competed in the Camping World Truck Series full-time from 2012-13, winning three races. He graduated to Nationwide this season, replacing his brother in the No. 3 car for RCR. Austin Dillon won last year's Nationwide championship and then moved on to Sprint Cup competition.
Busch, a Sprint Cup regular and winner of the 2013 Nationwide race at Indy, tried to catch Dillon during the final laps but came up 0.8 seconds short at the finish. Busch started on the pole and led just 10 laps in this event. In last year's race here, he started first and led 92 of 100 laps.
"It's unfortunate that we weren't as good as we were last year," Busch said. "I thought we were, but we weren't. Maybe it was the cloud cover today, or whatever. I don't know. Felt that we would be better than that, and we just weren't. There at the end, I had a restart and couldn't get through turn 1. Just slipped. I don't know what happened. [Dillon] just drove right by me. That was it. That was the race."
Sprint Cup regulars Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Paul Menard finished third through sixth, respectively. Harvick led the most laps with 33.
Rookie Chase Elliott, who won at Chicagoland, Trevor Bayne and Brian Scott were the other drivers qualified for the Dash 4 Cash at Indianapolis. Scott, the winner of the bonus at Chicagoland, finished seventh. Bayne placed ninth, and Elliott was 12th.
Dillon, Scott, Bayne and Regan Smith qualified for the fourth and final round in the Dash 4 Cash, which is the Aug. 2 race at Iowa.
Elliott remained atop the championship standings, but Smith moved to within four points of his JR Motorsports teammate following his 10th-place finish at Indy. Elliott Sadler placed 15th and fell 11 points behind.
Dillon is now 15 points out of the lead.