Most of the 58th running of the Coca-Cola 600 was not very exciting and there really wasn't much to write home to mom about.  The ending, however, dripped with drama and something happened we hadn't seen in 592 Monster Energy Cup Series races - a black number "3" Chevrolet rolled into victory lane.

I'm glad to say I was there, on the air, to witness Austin Dillon to grab his first career Cup win and the first for the number made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt since the "Intimidator" grabbed the checkered flag at Talladega in October 2000. Now 27, Dillon was only 10-years-old at the time. What a moment for Austin, what a moment for Earnhardt fans and what a moment for Richard Childress, who took a good deal of flack when he decided the time was right to bring the number back in 2014.

In his oldest grandson, he picked the perfect driver to carry the legacy and the pressure. Long before Earnhardt used the number, it was Childress' and Austin wore it like a family badge of honor. He slapped it on Bandalero and Legend's cars, dirt late models and even on his Little League uniform.  Sure, there's pressure in sticking a "3" to the side of your race cars, but Austin never shrunk from the challenge, winning championships on both the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series with it and now a Cup race.

This is also vindication for Austin, who's been maligned and criticized ferociously by the "twitter trolls" to the point Childress wanted to tweet out an invite to meet down at the Wal-Mart parking lot so he could whip their butts. I've always felt Dillon was the real deal. He's won in everything he's ever driven, he's been through successful championship duels, and, while respectful of the veterans, he's not intimidated by the sport's superstars. Austin, like his younger brother Ty, is also good guy. I live up around where they do and they're well respected in the neighborhood and would be right at home if you invited them over for a backyard barbecue.

Austin's critics are going to be eating a lot of crow because he's going to be around for a long time and last Sunday won't be the last time he captures a Cup checkered flag. It's been a slower process than they would have liked, but RCR is bringing better cars to the track, and Austin now has the experience to take full advantage. As some of the older drivers age out, he'll rise to star status and it will drive his early "haters" absolutely crazy.

The ending Sunday night was pretty cool. Austin was genuinely thrilled and the fans who stuck around loved his youthful exuberance. I'll always remember "RC" reaching through the window, overjoyed by what had happened, hugging his grandson's neck. Yes, he's the owner of one of the top teams in NASCAR, yet in that moment he was "Pop Pop" and loving every minute of it. 

I can say I was there and I loved every minute of it too.