Earning that first victory in a Cup car is a moment every driver wants to experience, no matter where it takes place. To earn that first victory at a crown jewel event, where the history of the sport is represented, and traditions are much revered. Trevor Bayne felt that immense feeling in 2011, getting his victory at the Great American Race, and Michael Waltrip felt the same way in 2001.
To earn that first win at a race where it’s about endurance, that extra push, is an accomplishment that has been felt by some of the greats in the sport.
Jeff Gordon did it in 1994, then Bobby Labonte a season later. Matt Kenseth pulled off the feat in 2000, and Casey Mears did it in 2007.
The 2017 edition of NASCAR’s longest night ultimately came down to who could pull enough fuel from the tank to make it those final few miles. The teams expected to be out front were there, until the engine sputters and is starved of fuel. But, one that managed to make it just to the finish ultimately had a lot of pressure removed from his shoulders.
It’s one thing to earn win number one in the sport’s longest race. It’s another to be the grandson of the team owner, and to be driving the car number associated with a driver that represented so many people, until he was taken from this world far too soon.
But, Austin Dillon pulled it off, putting himself in victory lane on Sunday night, in the No. 3 Chevrolet, and giving Richard Childress a pair of cars eligible for the playoffs in September.
Not surprisingly, no participant correctly scored a win this week, but when fuel mileage becomes the strategy, anyone could fall at a moment’s notice. Here’s where everyone shook out after the sport’s longest, most challenging, and most solemn due to the holiday it falls on, the Coca-Cola 600:
Rob Tiongson (436) Kyle Larson finished 33rd –  2
Dalton Hastings (391) Kevin Harvick finished 8th –  3
Billy Fellin (385) Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd –  4
Ashley Hobbs (372) Kyle Larson finished 33rd –  7
Misan Akuya (368) Jamie McMurray finished 12th –  9
Ashley Hull (363) Kyle Larson finished 33rd –  7
Penny Whitecotton (359) Kevin Harvick finished 8th –  1
Rob Blount (342) NO PICK SUBMITTED –  1
Dustin Parks (341) Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd –  3
Klarissa Mitchell (338) Jamie McMurray finished 12th –  0
Sal Sigala Jr. (324) Kyle Busch finished 2nd –  7
Patti Rodisch (316) Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd –  9
Ashley McCubbin (282) Kyle Larson finished 33rd –  2
Next Race: NASCAR’s marathon of a race is now in the mirror, and every team must move forward. The next race may not be a marathon in distance, but it is a track that tests the endurance of drivers, because it can bite in a moment’s notice.
At one mile in length, with a concrete surface, and an attitude as well, it’s no wonder this place is a monster.
It’s a trip to the country’s first state of Delaware, and a visit to Mile’s playground, the Monster Mile of Dover.
Writers, don’t be intimidated by his presence, but make sure you’re locked in for your picks by Thursday, June 1, at 10 p.m. ET for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism.