Austin Dillon lost control of his car and triggered a 13-car incident with 40 laps left in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Dillon had restarted second after being one of two cars not to pit (Martin Truex Jr. was the other). He quickly fell back on the restart and looked to try to come down in front of Denny Hamlin but got loose, and Jimmie Johnson hit the back of Dillon’s car. Both Dillon and Johnson slid. Johnson regained control, but Dillon hit the backstretch wall and came down the track.
“He just tried shutting the door on (Hamlin), and it wasn’t going to happen,” Johnson radioed his team after the incident.
Said Dillon after the race: “I haven’t seen (the replay) yet. We were on older tires, and I was trying to get all I could there. It’s part of trying to win a race. We put ourselves in a position to be out front, thinking that two laps wouldn’t mean much, but it did. That’s part of it. The good Lord kept me safe tonight and gave me a good race car. You have to be gracious in defeat. We’ll come back next week with another fast car, and hopefully we can do the same thing we did today, and that’s run up front.”
As Dillon’s car came down the track, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. clipped it, damaging his left front. The field got bunched behind, and cars began to bounce off each other. Cars involved in the incident were Dillon, Stenhouse, Johnson, Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Brian Scott and Michael Annett.
Bowyer and Vickers did not continue.