It was the veteran versus the rookie Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but it the end it was the 20 year old newcomer who made a late race pass to collect his first Camping World Truck Series victory.
Ty Dillon started on pole for the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200, his second pole of 2012. But Dillon quickly lost the lead to Kyle Busch, who made his first Truck Series start in 2012. The No. 3 Bass Pro Shop Chevy would regain the lead on lap 10, and throughout the night Dillon and Busch were swap the lead back and forth, often running side by side for several laps before one was able to clear the other.
The race restarted for the final time on lap 109, which saw Busch pull ahead of the field as the racing went three wide for second. Dillon was eventually able to clear Parker Kligerman and James Buescher to reclaim second, but he had a one second deficit to make up on Busch with under ten laps to go.
With just seven laps to go Dillon closed the gap between he and the leader, and the rookie dove to the bottom of the track and drove by to reclaim the lead. Busch made contact with the wall two times, leaving him unable to catch back up to Dillon, who collected his first Camping World Truck Series victory in his seventeenth start.
“Man, I'm just so happy and so excited. I finally won a NASCAR race. It's been my whole life, and to finally do it means so much. Man, it's awesome,” Dillon said in Victory Lane.
Older brother and 2011 Truck Series champ Austin Dillon and grandfather Richard Childress were on hand in Victory Lane to congratulate him.
Busch came home second, followed by Buescher, Kligerman and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five. Coming home sixth was Kyle Larson in just his second career Truck start. Dillon's Richard Childress Racing teammate Joey Coulter ended his night seventh, Nelson Piquet, Jr. eighth, and Matt Crafton and Kurt Busch came home ninth and tenth.
A win for Dillon and Buescher's eighth top five of the season, coupled with a 13th place finish by Timothy Peters has brought the top three in points within just nine points of each other with just eight races remaining in the season.
Next up, the Camping World Truck Series brings its very tight points race to the Iowa Speedway for the American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee. Coverage begins on September 15th at 8 pm Eastern time on SPEED.
Thanks to NASCAR on SPEED, NASCAR.COM and Racing Reference for the information, quotes and statistics used in this piece.