Monte Dutton column: Turns Out The Thief Was Dillon

Esteemed racing writer and author Monte Dutton is covering the Coca-Cola 600 for this website. Here’s his final post from the weekend.

By Monte Dutton

When the wrong guy wins, it’s interesting. It’s not exciting. Wrong guy, interesting, beats right guy, boring. It’s similar to the way a flush beats a straight.

What if it’s the wrong guy, once removed? All the more fun for the wee hours.

Austin Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night and Monday morning. He drove No. 3. It’s been a while for No. 3. Talladega in 2000. Cat named Earnhardt.

“It hasn’t sunk in, by no means,” Dillon said.

Later, he added, “To be quite honest with you, we had an argument, full-on, face-to-face, with my grandfather, this week, about the performance of the car.”

Cat named Childress. Richard Childress. Won six championships (out of seven) with the cat named Earnhardt. He’s got a pair of grandsons who like to go fast. One never went faster.

“We’re not down,” Childress said. “We’ve got everything we need to win.”

“We did our job,” Dillon said. “We had a chance to win, and we did what it took to do so. The 600 is a lengthy race, and you can’t afford mistakes. We didn’t make them.”

Martin Truex Jr. dominated the race. He finished third.

“Two out of the past three (600s), we lost it on (fuel) mileage,” said Truex, who was gracious.

Jimmie Johnson was the chief suspect in the impending theft. What he wound up stealing was 17th place, citing first gas and then lack thereof.

Dillon? Dillon? Where’d he come from? The far side of Johnson, that’s where.

It appeared as if the thief in the night with enough gas in the getaway car was Johnson. Johnson’s crew chief is Chad Knaus, Super Genius. For once, Knaus was Wile E. Coyote, not James Bond. Johnson’s Chevy crashed into a canyon floor because his Acme parachute was an anvil.

Okay, Johnson’s Chevy ran out of fuel. Dillon’s didn’t. Who knew Dillon, the Roadrunner, was lurking in the shadows, waiting to go beep-beep?

Truex was supposed to be the Roadrunner. He wasn’t supposed to lose. The Roadrunner is a cartoon. It’s not supposed to be complex. The Coca-Cola 600 wasn’t a whodunit. It was a who-won-it. Truex led 233 of the 400 laps. Last year he led 392 laps. He won that one.

If watching the wrong guy win strikes your fancy, the Coca-Cola 600 was the race for you.

Kyle Busch was so overjoyed to finish second that he threw a tantrum in the media center. After basically daring anyone there to give him an opportunity to bite off their head, he slinked away to a nearby swamp to feed on lizards.

Six words he spat out. “I’m not surprised about anything. Congratulations.”

Then there was a crashing sound.

This was the most valuable race in the regular season. The race drivers were like truckers. They got mileage (especially Dillon). The race had four segments, not three, which, in turn, meant it awarded three sets of bonus points, not two. It’s a step in evolution. Before 2004, all races were created equal. Then playoff races became gold. Now the Coca-Cola 600 is silver, but only by a little.

The night’s first and almost only excitement occurred on the 20th lap, when apparently something approximating a manhole cover, or, more likely, a gong, clanged out from under Jeffrey Earnhardt’s Chevrolet and very nearly brought another, driven by Chase Elliott, to a stop. Brad Keselowski’s Ford struck Elliott’s Chevy, and it wasn’t a tap. One day Elliott may drive a tank, but a stock car can’t withstand such fierce impact.

Later the track went wet for one hour, 39 minutes, 56 seconds.

All those Air Titans were scarcely needed. Truex mopped the track with the rest of the field.

Into all lives, some rain must fall. For the Coke 600, though, it wasn’t in the budget. The thunder rolled, and the lightning struck. Ladies and gentlemen, there is lightning in the area! Just being the longest stock car race in the world wasn’t enough. God was in a whimsical mood.

33 Replies to “Monte Dutton column: Turns Out The Thief Was Dillon”

    1. This was a very difficult piece to read.Hope I never read another article by this doofus.

      1. It wasnt difficult.
        It was Brutal.
        Sentence construction? Carrying topics fwd?
        Wont read one from him again. Geez

  1. Kyle is the only driver not afraid to show his real emotions like the average person does. By now people should know that he HATES to lose. He hates participation trophies.

    1. That he hates to lose is a big part of it, but there is more. When he says what is truly on his mind, he gets in trouble with NASCAR, and I imagine also with JGR and the sponsor. So instead he bottles up his feelings inside, says curt things, and acts like a jerk. Then the members of the media need stories to write, when Kyle won’t give them anything, they give him bad press.

      Kyle doesn’t need to act like a jerk. It is his choice. But he is the type that wears his emotions on his sleeves. Last night he had the fastest car and was winning on one of only two tracks he has yet to win a cup race on. It has been almost thirty races since he has won. And he was beat by a team playing fuel conservation. I get the frustration.

      1. Ultimately, it’s a touring sport where you interact with the same people week in and week out. When you act like a boor, treat people with contempt and pout, people will remember that next week and treat you accordingly. Makes it harder for his team in the long run. Be frustrated. Use it as fuel to drive yourself harder. Need an campland of how it’s done, two words. Mark Martin.

      2. Yeah so? It happens to someone every WEEK! Why is his swan song and story UNIQUE? It isn’t and he is a jerk. The people sticking up for this arse wipe must have been the little jerks in youth sports who threw a temper tantrum, made it all about them, with mom and dad..trying to console the brat, because he can’t control his emotions.

    2. Losing is a part of life, my friend. Happens to everyone. How you handle it reveals your true character.

    3. Kyle is an a__ hat. Period. No amount of excuses by him or his fans can change the facts. I bet EVERY driver from local Saturday night to Cup hate to lose. No excuse for acting the way he does.

      1. It is only because he hates to lose and there is only two tracks he hasn’t won on and Charlotte is one of them and that is a big part of it

    4. There’s is being competitive and then there is being a sore loser. Kyle Busch behaves like Cam Newton walking away after only a few comments. Athletes need to rise above losing, be a good sport, and be a role model for the youth and spokesmen for the products that sponsor them.

    5. Oh please, always the same “Kyle hates coming in second, he hates to lose”. SO DOES EVERY OTHER DRIVER!!!!!!!!! HE IS NOT UNIQUE, himself throwing ever increasing disturbing PUBLIC behavior is not a sign of a man pissed off. It is the sign of someone inching every week of becoming more unhinged, imo! The sign of a man pissed off is the one’s that handle it with a tongue and cheek comment, and class! Everybody makes excuses for this clown. come on! You insult the other just as talented drivers who lost as well, and there are many!

  2. Good story;I love your point of view.Kyle is a pain,but does tell it like he feels.He just really hates to lose.Glad to see the 3 back in the circle.Its been too long. He finally proved he has the chops to run with the big dogs.Good show.

  3. I’m finding it hilarious that people are taking your Kyle Busch comments seriously, considering the sarcasm you followed it up with.

    I thought it was great, that you’d put it that way, to mock all the absurd feigned outrage on his giving a short reply, because he gets heat for long replies. 😀

    Nice bit of writing there, stud! 🙂

    I might be the only one, but Kyle reminds me a lot of Dale Earnhardt. Dude (my generation’s version of cat) was a massive legend, who loved to pick at people, call it like he sees it and absolutely hated to lose, which led to my favorite NASCAR moment – the milk insult, followed by the milk taunt at the banquet. And he loved that he was hated by quite a lot – Rusty fans, Jeff fans, Jarrett fans… Dale had a feud on the track with nearly every driver at some point, but he got away with it because he could wheel that car and back it up. Now there’s sanctimonious hand wringing over “what Dale would have thought” of Kyle’s temper tantrums. I think there’s a reason Jr. loves to troll Kyle in good nature.

    I think in Dale’s death, there’s a weird canonization of him, as if he were a silk-tongued saint who was not just an everyday man, but a boy next door. I feel like I’m the only one who remembers his post-race interviews and all the salt, sarcasm and hilarity that brought.

    1. Don’t ever compare Kyle with dale Sr. Not in the same league. Kyle is in the dumba?? League.????

      1. You’re right, lol. Sr. was actually a lot ruder, a lot nastier, a lot more whiny and far more demanding – and quite a bit funnier. He’s a legend of the sport, part in longevity, part in his intensity, then the rest in his wins. Kyle will be the same. The ONLY reason Sr. is Sainted now is the manner of his death. No one will remember his “sit and spin” attitude towards just about everyone. No one will remember he was the most hated guy in NASCAR throughout the years. (Others were hated more, but they came and went, far more sporadically. Sr. holds the King title, they merely held the Jester title.)

        NASCAR is unique in that we can recognize extreme talent and still “hate” the driver. When the history books are written, Kyle’s name will be all over it, much the way Dale’s name is.

      2. And lest you think it’s not quite sport-wide, I give you: Boris Said.

        “I love this kind of racing, (but) these guys sure change their personalities in race mode. They’re like Doberman pinschers with a hand grenade in their mouths.”

        I’ll leave you with one more quote, which may highlight part of why Jr. actually defends/trolls/goofs with Kyle.

        “Years ago, you used to get out and fight and run around and chase each other with a jackhammer and stuff like that. Those were the good ol’ days.”

        Whether people want to admit it or not, I still believe, Kyle is a throwback, not a whiny, entitled brat. But too many fans are far, far too used to the “buttoned down corporate” version of NASCAR. Jr. remembers. Pepperidge Farm remembers. I remember. Do you? 😀

        1. And since I’m fond of quotes, to make you all laugh, here is Kyle’s quote on finding a new team, when he talked of Jr., since I used so many about Jr. and Kyle.

          “The competition, of course, is No. 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr., we have to remember, is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He could sell a chocolate popsicle to a woman in a white dress. It’s easy. … Kyle Busch, he wouldn’t be able to sell a favorite candy bar to a kid, I guess.”

  4. Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser. And someone of Fame once said “if I had a driver that was happy with second place I’d fire him”

    Somewhere along the line someone should have slapped some sense into Kyle. While I like to see some emotion out of these Cup guys Kyle is starting to get boring. It’s easy to be a winner. Kinda tough to be a loser.

    I think the stage racing is demonstrating that we should now have a caution every 5 to 10 laps to keep these races interesting. That’ll keep them bunched up and side by side. Lord knows traction compound on the track was a waste of money.

    Indy 500 drivers may not be the best in the world but they sure as hell are the bravest. The speed of those cars and the way they dart around is scary. That was a whale of a race. Exciting from start to finish. No gimmicks there. Just balls to the wall racing. The way it is supposed to be.

  5. So what would happen at the press conference at his next truck win if the media just sat there silent and no one ask a question until they move on to P2?

  6. God I hated to see that little POS win,why wasn’t there a caution for debris from car hitting wall with 2-3 laps to go? Reminds me of when Nascar ran extremely long yellow period to prevent Hornish from beating him for the championship several years back.Looks like Brian is a Childress whore just like his father.

    1. Am I the only one who remembers Casey Mears only Cup win was a fuel-conservation win at Coke 600 in 2007? He was a dud otherwise.

      I’m not impressed by Dillon’s win.

      1. A win is a win, but this is MEH..luck more than anything. When he wins on Austin’s POWER and skill..then we can clap..until then..who cares!

  7. Really enjoyed Monte’s Charlotte World 600 coverage. Now back to his racing novel “Lightning in a Bottle” already in progress.

  8. I’m amazed at the view that Chad & Jimmy are so Fuel mileage smart.
    Really.. how many times has he failed at fuel mileage races in Michigan, Daytona, Charlotte, .. Its his MO.

Comments are closed.