NASCAR is trying to inject some excitement into Charlotte Motor Speedway, where recent races have been relatively predictable, even boring: When a lead vehicle breaks free from the pack, it's been almost impossible to catch.
With a hard-charging Truex and Kyle Busch, Dillon stepped up his lap time on the final lap, running out of gas as the No. 3 auto crossed the finish-line to win his first career race. Hamlin had a fast pit stop on Lap 296, getting out ahead of Truex and Jimmie Johnson to take the lead for the first time.
Sunday night marks Dillon's first Cup win in 133 starts.
On a day where there was no shortage of huge wrecks in every notable race from Monaco to Indianapolis, the NASCAR race in Charlotte didn't disappoint.
Truex Jr., who led 233 laps, was a bit more reserved with his disappointment in failing to get back-to-back Coca-Cola 600 wins.
"Can you believe it?" He also is a four-time victor of this very event.
"Today is special", Childress said. Richard Childress, Dillon's grandfather and the vehicle owner for both Dillon and Earnhardt, did not use the number until he promoted his grandson to Cup in 2014.
"I know Dale is up there smiling down", vehicle owner Richard Childress said. "I'm just glad to add to the legacy of it".
"It hasn't sunk in".
"I would have guessed I'd have got a win here in a point race at some point, but it just hasn't happened", Earnhardt said. We're in the Chase.
For the thousands of fans who waited out a almost one hour, 40-minute rain delay, both watching on TV and in the grandstands at Charlotte, it was a special moment.
Four years after that emotional and somewhat controversial decision to bring the No. 3 back, 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. Truex had led a race-high 53 laps before the red flag came out. That's tough to swallow.
NASCAR then announced that next year's October race, the Bank of America 500, will incorporate the infield's road course (which they have dubbed the "Roval") to produce another unique type of racing.
Johnson limped home in 17th.
Here's how the top 10 finished. But Harvick, who won here in 2011 and 2013, held strong to end in eighth. The Coca-Cola 600 is naturally the longest race on the schedule. He was 33rd, his worst finish of the season.
"I made a mistake and got loose", Larson said. Three more Fords, Ryan Blaney, Rickey Stenhouse Jr. and Kurt Busch set 12th through 14th. Truex Jr. extended his series lead with a sixth stage win this season.
Truex Jr. passed Busch on the Lap 333 restart, and Busch spent the next 55 laps tailing him.
There would be no such celebration for Elliott and Keselowski, two of the top pre-race contenders.
"I saw parts and pieces flying", Elliott said.
For the second straight Cup Series points race, there was fire.
Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. "He doesn't show emotion and pressure, but I can tell you away from the track and in talks, he knew how much he wanted to win for all the (No.) 3 fans".
Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk. We did what we needed to do and it wasn't the right game.