Sprint Cup regular Dale Jr. posts top-10 speeds during both sessions Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live XFINITY Series Practice 1 " Full results Austin Dillon clocked the fastest lap in opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice Friday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Dillon , the only driver to break the 30-second barrier in the 55-minute session, drove the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet to a best lap of 180.977 mph on the 1.5-mile track. He'll be making his second XFINITY Series start of the season in Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 (4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Dale Earnhardt Jr . was second-fastest at 179.414 mph in the JR Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet that he co-owns. He was just ahead of JRM teammate Regan Smith , who registered the third-fastest lap at 178.453 mph. Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin completed the top five. Joe Gibbs Racing wound up using two fill-in drivers in their three entries for Saturday's 300-miler. Matt Kenseth was an emergency sub in the No. 18 Toyota for rookie Daniel Suarez, who was treated in the infield care center for a stomach ailment. Suarez felt well enough to turn a handful of laps near the end of the session, but it was Kenseth who posted the team's best lap, a 177.363-mph speed that was ninth-fastest overall. Hamlin will substitute all weekend in Gibbs' No. 54 Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch , who suffered multiple lower-leg injuries in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway . Defending series champion Chase Elliott , Erik Jones , Elliott Sadler , Darrell Wallace Jr ., Cale Conley , Ross Chastain , Kenseth, Earnhardt, Smith, Hamlin and Blaney were all held out of the first 15 minutes of practice. Their respective teams all served a penalty for being late to technical inspection last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway . XFINITY Series co-leader Ty Dillon was sixth-fastest of the 35 drivers who participated in the opening season. Chris Buescher , who shares the top spot in the standings, was 13th-fastest. Series regular Brian Scott didn't complete a lap after the engine in his Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet developed early trouble. XFINITY Series final practice " Full results Opening practice leader Austin Dillon continued to lay down fast lap times during Friday's final practice session for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . The No. 33 driver propelled his Richard Childress Chevrolet around the Nevada oval at 182.927 mph. After replacing the engine in his No. 2 ride, Brian Scott finally hit the track for the second practice. The lack of seat time a few hours earlier didn't seem to deter the Richard Childress Racing driver, as he posted the second-fastest speed, circling the speedway at 179.665 mph. Rounding out the top five were RSS Racing's Ryan Sieg (179.384 mph), Richard Childress Racing 's Brendan Gaughan (179.348 mph) and JR Motorsports' Regan Smith (179.301 mph). Sprint Cup Series veteran Denny Hamlin is subbing for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend. After running the most laps during the final practice, Hamlin ranked seventh on the leaderboard. Posting the ninth-fastest speed was JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who is wheeling the team's No. 88 machine this week. JRM driver and reigning XFINITY champion Chase Elliott rounded the 1.5-mile track 18th-fastest in his No. 9 Chevrolet. Joe Gibbs Racing 's Daniel Suarez missed most of the first session due to a stomach ailment, but was back behind the wheel of his No. 18 Toyota by the final practice. He posted the 19th-fastest speed on the leaderboard. The XFINITY Series will be back on track on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. ET, for the Coors Light Pole Qualifying with coverage on FOX Sports 2. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Suarez involved in wreck during second group of first round in qualifying Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full qualifying results Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award at Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opening Alert Today Florida 300. The 2013 XFINITY Series champion posted a lap of 190.251 mph in the final round of the three-round group qualifying session at Daytona. Justin Marks will join Dillon on the front row. Chad Boat and Brendan Gaughan will comprise Row 2, while Aric Almirola and Erik Jones will make up Row 3. A large crash occurred in the second group of the opening round with Daniel Suarez, Tanner Berryhill, Carlos Contreras, Harrison Rhodes, Landon Cassill and Blake Koch among the cars involved in the wreck. The No. 18 car of Suarez was pretty torn up and he had to go to a backup car. Seven cars did not make the race, including Rhodes, Contreras and Berryhill. Following the crash Kyle Busch, who is teammates with Suarez told FOX Sports 1 of the group qualifying, "This is not what it needs to be. Somehow, someway, this isn't right." Busch later added, "you don't want to see cars wrecking in qualifying. The show is the race." Shortly after the crash, qualifying was putting into a holding pattern due to some rain in the area. That delayed last about 40 minutes. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was not in the actual crash but in the group where it took place, had a slower time as a result and will start 40th, the last spot in the field. He got that spot as a result of his champions provisional in the series. Something he joked about on Twitter. Guess I'm gonna use that champions provisional today. #ThingsYouSayAt40 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 21, 2015 The group qualifying procedure for Daytona, adjusted by NASCAR on Wednesday, saw the first round consist of four groups with each group alloted two minutes and 30 seconds to complete a lap. Once a vehicle started rolling off pit road, it couldn't stop and had to proceed to the track. The fastest 24 advanced to the second round with consisted of two groups, which the same time frame as the first round. The top 12 moved on to the third and final round. This same format was used in Friday's Keystone Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250. The Alert Today Florida 300 will be Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Austin Dillon talks about his sophomore season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet on second season: 'We need to be in the Chase' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Around this time last year, Austin Dillon 's blood pressure was rising. The then-defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion was a few short weeks away from beginning his rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series -- the big leagues -- but even more cold-sweat-inducing was the car number that would be adorned on the side of his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet: NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt's legendary No. 3. With his second season upon him and his rookie stripe removed, Dillon exuded an aura of confidence, put-togetherness and relaxation on Thursday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom -- at least for now. "There's a lot of pressure any time you move to a new series," said Dillon , who immediately backed off the naysayers by winning the Coors Light Pole Award ahead of the 2014 Daytona 500 . "Having the 3, there's so many fans behind it and it was a great year to go through. Nothing crazy happened. This year, I think we've got to start getting crazy. We've got to start making things happen. "When I say that, we need to be in the Chase; we need to be part of the chaos at the end of the year. I want to put more pressure on (myself) and you can more focus on the competition side of things. … People know how we approached that first year; I think we did it right. Now it's time to make fire and go fast." A big part of how Dillon and returning crew chief Gil Martin are trying to improve is in preparation, not only physically -- which he's determined to stay on top of -- but also mentally. "Mentally, it's having more days at the shop. … Knowing what we're going to do when we go through practices so we can be more organized with practices," Dillon said. "We were able to really scramble at certain points through the year and make our cars good when we struggled in practice. I think preparation this year, we want to be ready for those changes. We don't want to be behind where we have to make a long shot or a Hail Mary at something. ... I think that's one thing that I've really told Gil and my guys. I want them to stay on me to stay focused and push me." Dillon mentioned that a number of sponsorship appearances and NASCAR events having to do with the famous car number pulled him away from the health-conscious steps he took last offseason to get ready for his rookie year. He and his team have taken this into consideration, working diligently to keep Dillon and the No. 3 team on a more even-keeled schedule throughout November. It should allow Dillon to maintain his consistency -- his average finish of 17.5 ranked 15th in the series among full-time drivers, ahead of Chase drivers Kyle Busch , Kasey Kahne , Kurt Busch , AJ Allmendinger and Aric Almirola -- the same consistency that projected Ryan Newman to the Championship 4, 50 yards shy of a title. That consistency also came in the form of completing 10,488 of 10,541 laps (99.5 percent), the second-most in the series. The 24-year-old is also scheduled to run 20 XFINITY Series races in 2015, which he believes will help him figure out the ins-and-outs of his Cup ride. The new technical packages for Sprint Cup cars in 2015 is much more closely aligned with NASCAR's second series than in years past. There's a lot for Dillon to build on for 2015 and a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berth is not out of the question. With the initial attention around the No. 3 car's return now mostly a thing of the past, it should allow the RCR driver to stay steady throughout the year and keep his head down. "The good thing is, we had a decent year last year, but when you can find places to improve, and you know where those are, you should be able to take those and make them better," Dillon said. "I think that's what I've been able to do the last couple of years when we go from say, rookie year in Trucks or ( XFINITY ), then second year and you win a championship." "I'm not saying we're going to go out there and win a championship, but that's our goal. I think we can, and what Ryan and Luke (Lambert, No. 31 crew chief) were able to do, I think me and Gil want to accomplish that -- have a shot at the end of the year." MORE: Newman eager to build on last season's gains FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Patrick suffers minor damage from contact Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Complete Sprint Unlimited results Danica Patrick's car was dinged from some three-wide racing with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon in the Sprint Unlimited, but Stenhouse and Dillon took the brunt of the damage. RELATED: See the best photos from Saturday's race The incident on Lap 62 brought Patrick to pit road quickly, and she would lose a lap. She had spent some of the race running in the top five but had to make multiple pit stops to repair the damage. Stenhouse Jr. smacked the wall, while Dillon went for a spin after the two made contact. Both Stenhouse Jr. and Dillon's car suffered enough damage to put them several laps down. Patrick would go on to finish the race in 10th place, while Stenhouse Jr. and Dillon would finish 16th and 17th, respectively, 14 laps down. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Austin Dillon started on the pole and dominated the entire day holding off a late race charge by Ryan Blaney to win the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon is able hold off Ryan Blaney's run for the lead in the final lap of the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon goes for a solo spin after cutting a tire down at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon celebrates his dominating performance and third career Xfinity Series win in the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
While the field was under red flag, Mike Wallace runs into the back of pole sitter Austin Dillon .