Video: Austin Dillon suffers horrific crash at Michigan

Austin Dillon’s hopes for the final spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs took big hit at Michigan Sunday, both literally and figuratively.

Locked in a battle with his Richard Childress Racing teammate Tyler Reddick for the final cutoff spot coming into Michigan, and Reddick ahead on points, Dillion was running well finishing third in Stage 1 and in contention for the win or at least a top five.

It all end violently at the end of Stage 2.

Racing for fifth in the stage, Dillion crossed the start-finish line just ahead of the Ford of Brad Keselowski in seventh. Just after the line Dillon and Keselowski got together and Dillion’s Chevy was sent up into the frontstretch wall and briefly airborne before coming to rest on all four wheels.

My bad, guys,” said Dillon on his team radio.

Team owner, and Dillon’s grandfather, Richard Childress replied on the team radio: “Hit him on purpose. I’m an old man but I’d kick his ass.”

Keselowski apologized on the No. 2 team radio. “Aw, man. I didn’t want to do that,” he said, adding the contact was not intentional. Dillon was checked and cleared from the infield medical center.

“I was just trying to get as many Stage points as I could get right there,” Dillon said. “Did a good job of side-drafting and came down to the apron and I’ve seen just one quick replay, but it was after the Start/Finish Line.

“I was starting to come up off the apron because it’s so rough down there. But I figured by that point, he would have given me a little room. I hate it. I’m thankful that the good Lord kept me safe today. That was a heck of a wreck, but I feel fine.”

Dillon was scored with a DNF in 36th place.

“I hate it for BREZTRI and my guys, most of all,” he said. “They built a rocket ship. They really wanted this one, and I did too. Just working our tails off right there. I think we would have had a shot to do something there at the end with our race car. It’s the best race car we’ve brought to the track at RCR this year, I feel like. It’s just a bummer but we’ve got Daytona left and I just hate it. I don’t know why it happened, really. I thought I had a little room to come up and he just held me down there a little bit too long, I guess.”

Keselowski finished 9th.

“I wanted of course to get a win and I hate that I had that contact with the 3,” he said after the race. “That really sucks for everybody. It really hurt our day and obviously ruined his. That was crappy. So it goes.”

As for Reddick he was running inside the top 10 late in the race but spun with 7 laps to go and finished 29 and still holds 11th in the points.  Dillon will need nothing short of a win at Daytona this week in order to make the Playoffs.

“The guys have worked so hard,” Dillon said. “You saw the equipment I had today and man it was so fast. I was having a blast out there racing like that. It’s fun to be able to do that. I’ve just got to thank ECR and RCR. But that one is probably done, and we’ll just bring another one next week to Daytona.”