Austin Dillon won the Coca Cola 600 on a gamble, a wing, and a prayer. The rain-drenched race was stopped for over an hour and a half before resuming under the bright lights of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dillon and his team found themselves in a position to win the race if they could make their fuel stretch. They took the gamble and didn't stop for fuel. The bet was a good one as Dillon took the checkered flag in the black number 3 Dow Chevrolet.

Austin Dillon is carrying a legacy with him.

It has been a long time since the number 3 car of Richard Childress Racing has been in victory lane. It has been 17 years to be exact since the black Chevrolet rolled across the finish line first.

That time it was with the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. and it was at Talladega, a legend in its own right.

The hole left by Earnhardt's death was felt by all and it was not for many years after Earnhardt's death that Richard Childress would even run the number 3 on a car, instead choosing to run the number 29 on the car. However, as Dillon worked his way up through the ranks of NASCAR and time began to heal the pain of Earnhardt's death, Childress began toying with the idea of running the number 3 car again.

Dillon, who is also Childress's grandson, worked hard to win the seat in the black Chevrolet he now drives. He received no handouts or help from Childress and instead worked his way up from small track racing to the big leagues of NASCAR.

The fact that he is driving what most would consider, even now, to be Earnhardt's car is not lost on the talented young driver. He knows he carries the legacy of a legend with him every time he steps in the car.

Austin Dillon gambles at Charlotte and wins.

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the NASCAR schedule.

It's 600 grueling miles that test drivers, crew, and sometimes the fans. During this year's race, rain poured down mercilessly and the race had to be stopped for over and hour and a half. Once the race got started again though it was on and teams poured on the speed trying to get to the front. Martin Truex Jr and Jimmy Johnson had strong cars all day but quietly stalking them was Dillon, never too far behind the leaders to be out of contention but not in the spotlight either.

As the final segment of the race started it became clear that it would come down to fuel and pit stops. Most of the teams chose to come in and top off their gas tanks hoping their drivers could make up the positions and run full out. Dillon's team made another choice. They gambled they had enough fuel and stayed out to obtain track position. Jimmy Johnson made the same gamble.

Unfortunately for Johnson, the gamble didn't pay off and he ran out of gas with two laps left to go. Dillon, however, didn't run out. The gamble paid off and he crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion, earning himself his first victory and returning the number 3 car to victory lane for the first time in 17 years.

Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing have much to celebrate following the Coca-Cola 600. They earned a win in a long hard race and they took a gamble and had faith when it came down to a wing and prayer. Most importantly, however, they continued a legacy that was built a wrench turn at a time and returned a legend to where it rightfully belonged, in victory lane.

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