06-01-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Austin Dillon wins first NASCAR Cup Series Race

 Austin Dillon conserved just enough fuel during Sunday’s Coca Cola 600 that he was able to eke across the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Dillon had enough gas to tool around the speedway for just a bit before he had to be pushed into Victory Lane following the completion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event.

The 400-lap race had a little bit of everything – a big dustup that took out Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski, a rain delay that lasted for one hour and forty minutes mid-race, and nine caution periods covering 53 laps.

Dillon started in 22nd place and led two laps. Sunday’s win gave Dillon his first win since he began racing full-time in 2014. Dillon notched his second top five of the season.

Kyle Busch led 63 laps. He didn’t move too much during the race; he started from second place and that’s where he finished his run. Busch tallied his fifth top five of the season.

Martin Truex Jr. owned third place – and much of the race. He led the pack for 233 laps and, ostensibly, had the best car Sunday night. Truex Jr. has two wins this season and finished in the top five for the fourth time.

Matt Kenseth started and finished the race in fourth place. He earned his third top five finish but has yet to claim the top prize this season.

Denny Hamlin took fifth place. He led 10 laps.

Other drivers who led laps but did not finish in the top five included: Kurt Busch (1), Kevin Harvick (45), Paul Menard (2), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2), Jimmie Johnson (35), and Danica Patrick (7).

There were 23 lead changes during the event and 17 drivers finished the race on the lead lap.

The drivers leave Charlotte in their review mirrors and have set their sights on Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism.  Last year, Matt Kenseth claimed the Cup win at the Monster Mile. Kenseth is seeking his first victory this year. Can he win the 14th race of season?

Final SAC track meet of the regular season at Constantine

 Constantine was the site of the final, regular season track and field meet of the 2017 season.

Coloma’s varsity boys’ team finished third overall out of 20 teams with 63 points. Watervliet took sixth place with 40.5 points, and Hartford ended the event in 18th place with two points. Saugatuck won both the boys’ and girls’ divisions.

Derek Plitt continued his winning ways with a first place finish in the 100 meters (11.63 seconds). The 4×200 relay team of Caleb Ellis, Sincere Taylor, Brad Young, and Plitt raced to first place with a time of 1:33.76.

Ellis, Kobe Hunter, Brandon Bower, and Young teamed up in the 4×400. They finished first with a time of 3:35.57.

Plitt earned a bronze in the 200 meters; he finished with a time of 23.67 seconds. Young also picked up a third place medal; he ran the 400 meters in a time of 52.15 seconds.

Watervliet’s Lamarrius Smith finished the meet with one first place, one second place, and one third place medal, completing the trifecta of track.