Saturday’s roundup: Blaney wins Xfinity race
Sparta, Ky. — Ryan Blaney completed a Team Penske season sweep of the NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Kentucky Speedway, beating Ty Dillon in a green-white-checkered finish Saturday night.
After the record-tying 10th caution, Dillon led Blaney, Regan Smith, Chase Elliott and defending race winner Brendan Gaughan on the restart.
Blaney was inside of Dillon and got the kind of restart that he didn’t a few laps earlier when Dillon passed him. Blaney pulled away to his fourth career Xfinity victory and second this season. He also won at the track in 2013 for his first series victory.
“We were just even with (Dillon) and (Smith) gave us a good push,” said Blaney, who led 81 of the 201 laps. “That’s all it is now. Who can get a big push. Luckily, we were able to get a good one and just get a little bit of position to kind of ease up the race track to get in front of him. I knew once we were clear we had a really good shot at it.”
Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski also won in the No. 22 Ford in July at Kentucky.
Dillon was second, 0.519 seconds behind Blaney.
“This hurts for our team,” said Dillon, who led 43 laps but remains winless this season. “It’s nice to be upset with second. … We’ve been really, really strong and we’ve got more races to go. We’ll get in victory lane. It just hurts to lose it like that.”
Smith was third, followed by Elliott and Brandon Jones. Points leader Chris Buescher finished seventh.
A two-car crash stopped the race for about 20 minutes halfway through the 200-lap race. The stoppage was necessary to give the track safety crew time to clean up debris and fluids left behind after Brennan Poole and Harrison Rhodes wrecked in Turn 1. Poole’s car veered off course onto the apron and then slid up the track into the path of Rhodes’ car.
Brian Scott took the lead from Erik Jones on a wild restart six laps earlier.
Erik Jones flew to Kentucky after finishing seventh in the Camping World Truck Series race in the afternoon at New Hampshire and started the Xfinity race at the rear of the field as a penalty for missing qualifying.
Erik Jones quickly made his way through the field and took the lead after a pit stop that coincided with a caution. After some initial confusion about where his car was on pit road in relation to the lead car on the track, Erik Jones was scored as the leader. Scott passed him on the restart lap.
Erik Jones finished eighth, and Scott was 13th.
“I thought we were a second- or third-place car, but it just didn’t work out,” Erik Jones said. “Long day, but fun day overall.”
Austin Dillon led 80 laps and won Saturday at New Hampshire Motorspeedway in the milestone 500th NASCAR Truck Series race.
Dillon won for the first time this season in series, to go with three wins in the Xfinity Series. Dillon was dominant and won from the pole in the No. 33 Chevrolet. He won for the seventh time in 67 career races.
Two-time defending Truck Series champion Matt Crafton was second.
Ryan Reed won the rain-delayed ARCA Racing Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his second victory of the year.
Reed, driving Lira Motorsports’ No. 38 Ford, led the final 20 laps and held off Travis Braden by 0.356 seconds in the 100-lap race that was postponed Friday night at the 1.5-mile speedway.