NASCAR Monster Energy Series Predictions: Coca-Cola 600 5/28/17

Sunday, 04 Jun, 2017

The number of wins at times isn't as significant, in some ways, as the number of championships a driver has won.

But it was a failed effort, as Johnson hit empty with two laps to go and Austin Dillon stormed past him to claim his first Cup series win.

It was about being the No. 3.

Entering the race weekend, Earnhardt said the team "totally eighty-sixed all that stuff we ran last week".

"If they think it was a fuel mileage race, they can kiss my ring", Dillon said with a smile and a mic drop. "But there's a lot of support, too". So really proud of them.

The simple part to understand is the family dynamic of the win - the first for the RCR No. 3 in a Cup auto since Earnhardt won at Talladega in October of 2012.

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Larson said he got loose in Turn 3 to end his race. I know Dale is up there smiling down because he would want this win, he would want to see it with Austin. The Hall of Famer and seven-time champion died on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 and owner Richard Childress did not use the "3" again until Dillon, his grandson, made his Cup debut in 2014.

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MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota (Third-Place Finisher): "I guess it depends how you look at it". He sits fifth in the standings. After winning the playoff race at the speedway last fall, Johnson and Knaus brought another fast Chevrolet that led 35 laps.

"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.

"I saw parts and pieces flying", Elliott said. "It's going to Victory Lane, hopefully, a few more times".

NOTES: Martin Truex Jr. dominated the 2016 Coca-Cola 600, leading all but eight laps (12 miles) en route to the win.

Dillon and four other cars skipped a green flag pit cycle with 30 laps left and as the others slowly ran out of fuel or were consumed by the field, Dillon was able to hold off the hard-charging Kyle Busch and the dominant vehicle of Martin Truex Jr.

Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel with 2 laps remaining on Sunday. The No. 3, Dillon said, "was the best of all time". "You've got to put yourself in that kind of position".

The Coca-Cola 600 proved to be a very exciting finish to a mixed bag of results from 2017's "10 Days of Thunder". He was forced to pit late to get fuel to finish out the race and couldn't quite catch up to Dillon on the final laps, finishing 1.152 seconds behind Dillon after being passed by Kyle Busch on the final lap. "But if we had a couple more, Kyle would've beat us".

Childress said he never doubted the decision to bring back the No. 3 and rarely goes anywhere without fans telling him how thankful they are he made the decision. "It's tough to come up short on fuel mileage, but we have been on this side of it before".