Austin Dillon feels like he ‘gave one away’

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW NORKOOL Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 12, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Austin Dillon backed up his second place run at Darlington a week prior with a strong performance Saturday night at Richmond. Dillon came home fourth.

“I feel like I gave one away,” Dillon said with a smile after it was over.

The Richard Childress Racing driver led the second most laps on the night, 55, but was slowed by two pit road miscues. The first was a speeding penalty during pit stops after finishing second in Stage 1.

“To come from the back to the front in that Stage just shows how fast our Chevy was tonight,” Dillion said. “This No. 3 team is on fire right now and showing up when it matters.”

Later during a round of green flag stops, Dillon missed the entrance to pit road, slowed and was forced to go around again.

“We were trying to bring everybody down,” he said. “The No. 1 car was in my mirror on tires. I overdrove that entry just a little bit thinking that I needed to avoid getting rear-ended, and then it was like ‘Oh no, I’m going to hit the red box’ so I had to make another lap around the track. That cost us three seconds. It probably killed our deal, but it was still early, so who knows.”

Dillon was able to overcome his issues and despite not being among the favorites in the Playoff hunt, can now be considered a strong contender to go deeper than anyone else imagined the team would.

“It was a lot of fun out here tonight, and I think we had the best car tonight, so thanks to Justin Alexander and everyone at RCR and ECR for giving us a solid Chevy tonight,” Dillon said. “We’re headed to Bristol Motor Speedway in a good spot, and it’s exciting to know we still have eight more chances to try and get another win. Our confidence level for Bristol is pretty high.”