Governor Hogan waves the Green flag for the Coca-Cola 600

The Coca Cola 600

The Coca Cola 600

It was roughly 10 minutes after Austin Dillon scored the first victory of his career in NASCAR's premier series by stretching his final tank of fuel for 70 laps.

Johnson ran out of fuel on Lap 399, and Dillon was able to cruise to victory over Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who led the most laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the third straight season.

After leading 397 of 400 laps in a win past year, Truex led the way for 233 in 2017. He led a record 392 in 2016 and 131 in 2015.

Matt Kenseth was fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth.

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Hall of Fame vehicle owner Richard Childress finally let the emotions flow when he looked up at the Charlotte Motor Speedway's scoring board after the Coca-Cola 600 and saw the iconic No. 3 — driven by his grandson Austin Dillon — on top. This year Truex Jr. again led the most laps but could only come home third. Jones was pitting one stall further down the track than Johnson, forcing the No. 48 Chevrolet to maneuver past him.

Still Truex Jr., who has two wins this year and took over the points lead, remains optimistic about the future even if Sunday night didn't turn out exactly as he had hoped.

While Dillon may have been "handed" a victory with a fuel-mileage gamble by some fans' accounts, Dillon had to finish the race.

Larson, the points leader, started in the back because a problem getting through pre-qualifying inspection prevented him from getting on the track for qualifying.

Dillon and his crew had a little fun celebrating on the infield grass afterward. He passed us there coming to the checkers, so I was just hanging on that last run. You couldn't stop and turn. Like I said, we made a little bit of a mistake on the adjustment and it cost us a little bit.

"Where typically there's the least grip, tonight it was the best grip", Truex said, adding that the lower groove Sunday felt bumpy and slippery. A freaky accident on Lap 19 took them out of the race after Jeffrey Earnhardt car's had a mechanical issue and started dropping oil on the track. That wasn't the big talking point from the first 100 laps, though, as Jeffrey Earnhardt's disintegrating auto knocked a hole in Chase Elliott's No. 24. "You've got to put yourself in that kind of position".

It's the place where he'd finish running an Xfinity race and return to the Campus Connection apartment complex across the street and drink beer with his buddies until late into the night.

Busch is now 0 for 27 in Cup races here. Blaney pushed Harvick to the front in the penultimate restart of the race, moving the No. 12 auto into second for the final restart with three laps to go. Instead, it ended up being Dillon who pounced when Johnson stumbled. However, the No. 78 team would not be denied in Stage 2 as Truex Jr. narrowly beat eight-time track victor Jimmie Johnson for his series-leading sixth stage victory. Busch almost walked away with the Coca-Cola 600 when he moved past teammate Denny Hamlin at the start of the fourth and final stage to take the lead over Martin Truex Jr.

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