Richard Childress Racing
March 25, 2012
Austin Dillon Earns Top-Five Finish in Career First Appearance at Auto Club Speedway
"When faster cars passed me I followed their line and was able to learn a lot about where to drive on the track."
Start - 4
Finish - 5
Laps Led - 0
Points Position - 3
In his first appearance at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Austin Dillon recorded a fifth-place finish in the Royal Purple 300 and moved up one position to third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship point standings. Dillon posted the fourth-quickest lap time during qualifying on Saturday morning despite running over debris, causing a flat left-rear tire during his qualifying run. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender started the race from the fourth position and was a mainstay in the top five during the early portions of the race. He slipped as far back as 18th in the running order after developing a loose-handling condition during the middle portion of the race. A lap-135 pit stop under caution provided crew chief Danny Stockman and the RCR team the opportunity to service the black No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet with four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Following the pit stop, the team restarted in the 11th position on lap 138 and Dillon spent the remaining 12 laps driving through traffic. He gained six positions in the final laps of the race to post a fifth-place finish.
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"The car was not handling very well towards the middle of the race but I learned a lot during that portion of the race. When faster cars passed me I followed their line and was able to learn a lot about where to drive on the track. As a rookie, I'm happy with a fifth-place finish. Those are the types of finishes we need to be getting."