Bucket list: Earnhardt seeking Coca-Cola 600 victory

Truex Jr. finished third in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night.

Jimmie Johnson and Austin Dillon each elected to gamble on fuel strategy as the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest race, closed with an extended green flag run.

A year ago, Truex Jr. set records by leading 392 of the 400 laps on his way to trouncing the field in his Coca-Cola 600 win. For the 2015 and 2016 races, U.S. Grand Prix organizers were eligible for almost $50 million.

"We had a lot of hard times last year, but this year, it seems to be" the other way around, Vettel said. He was trying to become the eighth driver to sweep the back-to-back Charlotte Cup races after winning last weekend's All-Star race.

Dillon refused to pit with the majority of drivers down the stretch, but the No. 3 auto had enough fuel to make it the rest of the way. After the race, crew chief Chad Knaus stood a few feet from Johnson's trailer, a look of disbelief drawn on his face as he tapped his foot in a pool of strewn gasoline.

Which would be the wake-up call stock-car racing needs most.

Looking to add some competitive mojo, a VHT traction compound was imbedded into the top lane on the asphalt at the track. Jones pitted further away from Johnson on a third-stage stop. Dillon led just two laps of the race all night. The race victor was the only non-Toyota driver in the top-five.

Four years after that emotional and somewhat controversial decision to bring the No. 3 back, Austin Dillon delivered with his first Series Cup victory early Monday at the Coca-Cola 600, a victory that resonated with Earnhardt fans across the country and left his grandfather on the verge of tears.

"I did all that I could from that point and just came up a little bit short", he said. "I just hate it that I made a mistake there in Turn 3 and got in the wall".

Larson said he got loose in Turn 3 to end his race. Keselowski was unable to slow because of an oil trail and the impact from Keselowski's No. 2 Ford lifted Elliott's rear wheels off the track.

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The eight super regional winners will advance to the College World Series , scheduled for June 17-28 in Omaha, Nebraska. The rest of the national seeds, in order, are Texas Tech (43-15), TCU (42-16), Louisville (47-10) and Stanford (40-14).

"They want to be able to go after those races, just like we try to court a Super Bowl or any other major sporting event", said Rep.

"Brad couldn't get stopped and ended up kind of finishing us off, but it was a bummer".

Truex dominated the Coca-Cola 600 for a second straight year, leading a race-high 233 laps.

The driver of the No. 42 was able to get around the North Carolina circuit in 28.970 seconds and ran an average speed of 186.400 miles per hour. Busch ('06, '15), Newman ('02, '05, '11), Keselowski ('11), Bowyer ('07, '10) and Kahne ('12) have previously won Cup races at NHMS.

Dillon sped past Johnson and was able to hold off Busch and Truex Jr., who finished second and third respectively.

Matt Kenseth ran fourth, followed by Joe Gibbs racing teammate Denny Hamlin, as Toyotas claimed positions two through five.

The rain arrived and drenched the track, forcing a delay of 1 hour, 39 minutes, 56 seconds before the cars started rolling again.

After Larson's accident, Truex lost three spots on pit road on Lap 294, ceding the stage win to Denny Hamlin.

Martin Truex Jr. has Charlotte Motor Speedway figured out.

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