Austin Dillon did not plan on speaking to reporters after 183 laps at Dover International Speedway.
The driver of the No. 3 car wondered around his vehicle in the garage area just before the halfway mark of the AAA 400 at the 1-mile oval. As Dillon titled his head, drinking his Coca-Cola, he avoided anyone for several moments.
Dillon’s Chevrolet slammed into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 183, putting an end to what he thought was a potential top-10 run for the Richard Childress Racing driver.
“I think we had a brake failure, at least I’m pretty sure,” Dillon said after speaking with his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress. “We had brake issues at Bristol, and now we have them here. We just have to get better and learn from it. The AAA car was pretty good today, though. We had a good shot at running in the top 5 or top 10. I’m just bummed out.”
This is not the first time Dillon has experience brake issues this season. At Bristol, he ended the day two laps down in 26th — his worst finish of the year — after having a similar issue.
Dillon, 26, entered Dover eighth in the standings. He has a career-high six top 10s through 11 races, edging out his five from all of 2015.
In five prior starts at Dover, Dillon has never finished better than 20th, a mark he set in May 2014.
Dillon returned to the track, 47 laps down. When he returned, second-place Brad Keselowski made contact with the No. 3 car coming off Turn 2. The incident caused the right-front fender of the No. 2 Ford to dissipate, causing him to be two seconds off the pace until the caution came out for debris with 113 laps to go.
Said Dillon: “It’s frustrating because we had a good run coming into today. We have to a better job. We’ll learn from the mistakes.”