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November 1, 2014

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Austin Dillon wins Truck Series race at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. — Austin Dillon sat in the media center, his firesuit soaked in beer, finishing a celebratory call.

"Love you, too," Dillon said.

Awww, sweet.

"I'm in the media center and everybody's going 'Awww,'" Dillon said.

Dillon called his dad, Mike, who was at Iowa Speedway to watch another Dillon in the Nationwide Series race. Last week, Ty Dillon had his dad, brother, and grandfather Richard Childress together when they kissed the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Austin Dillon was flanked by Childress in the second straight weekend trip to Victory Lane. Dillon pulled away on the final restart to win on a green-white-checkered finish in the Truck Series race on Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

"We had to fight for it," Dillon said. "Any time you can get a NASCAR win, it's huge."

Dillon drove the famed No. 3 to his first victory in five series Truck starts this year. His win came a week after his brother won the Nationwide Series race at the Brickyard. Ty Dillon was set too race Saturday night at Iowa.

Dillon eluded Clint Bowyer and the rest of the field on the final restart of a caution-filled end to the race.

Johnny Sauter, Joey Coulter, Bowyer and Ryan Blaney completed the top five. Blaney holds a seven-point lead over Sauter in the points race.

Kyle Larson led from the pole for an early part of the race until his truck had engine issues and he faded to 18th.

Sauter gave Dillon a needed push off the final restart to play a role in the win.

"That was a good push, wasn't it?" Sauter asked Dillon's crew chief, Nick Harrison.

"Yes, it was. Thank you very much," a smiling Harrison said inside the media center.

Bowyer was driving for John Wes Townley, who was held out of all racing this weekend following a hard crash Friday. Townley hit the wall hard during qualifying for the ARCA race and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. He eventually returned to the track.

"I think honestly we were a third-place truck," Bowyer said. "Larson was the class of the field and luckily blew up and gave Austin and I a chance and Austin capitalized."

Larson and Dillon are battling in the Sprint Cup series for rookie of the year honors. Dillon won the pole for the Daytona 500. Larson won the pole for Sunday's race at Pocono. While the numbers are the same, many in the sport feel Larson is the true superstar of the future. Dillon says, not so fast.

"I'm think I'm just as good or better," Dillon said.

Dillon, the 2011 Truck Series champion, had sponsorship from Pennsylvania-based Yuengling Brewery and shared a round of beers with his grandfather after the race.

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