Takes checkered flag one week after last-lap loss at Indy RELATED: Race results " Series standings NEWTON, Iowa - As the cautions — and wreckage — piled up, Ryan Blaney didn’t blink. Trouble reigned for most in the late tension-filled stages of the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway, but the driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford remained calm and poised. Seemed so, anyway. “It’s not ideal,” Blaney said of four cautions in the final 20 scheduled laps that interrupted his stirring Saturday night run to Victory Lane. “At all. You have a great car and those late cautions are just chances to give it away.” Not Saturday. Blaney ’s turn at the wheel put the Team Penske No. 22 in Victory Lane at Iowa for the third straight August. Brad Keselowski drove it to wins each of the past two seasons. Blaney led an astounding 252 laps of 260, churning out the most dominant performance in his young career and first series win of the season after three runner-up finishes. “It’s crazy that you lead more laps than the race is actually scheduled for,” Blaney ’s crew chief, Greg Erwin, said. Crazy indeed, but fitting for Blaney , who felt he had “given away” last weekend’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Kyle Busch , who made a last-lap pass. “It really speaks a lot to this team,” Blaney said. “(They gave me) a great race car.” Regan Smith finished a season-best second and Brian Scott took third. Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan — who took a late shot at Blaney that slightly damaged both cars — completed the top five. Blaney simply shined from the start. He swiftly passed Coors Light polesitter Daniel Suarez after the green flag flew and led the first 146 laps — or 50 more than his previous best total he amassed while notching his first series win at Kentucky in 2013. The first hiccup: Trailing Smith for four laps after easing off pit road on Lap 147 slightly behind him. The next green flag erased that issue. On Lap 151 Blaney surged to the front again and set a blistering pace in clean air, virtually unchallenged. But one more pit stop was required and Chase Elliott — who powered to second during the late stages— beat Blaney off pit road. A change in the evening’s balance of power? Hardly. Blaney quickly swept past Elliott and never looked back — except to survey the misfortunes of others. Eight cautions marred the event, with six coming after Lap 205. WATCH: Post-race scuffles on pit road Elliott drew one after contact with Brandon Jones sent him spinning into the wall on Lap 231. He recovered to finish ninth and sits 20 points behind standings leader Chris Buescher , who was collected in the multi-car wreck that came on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. Buescher settled for 13th. Kenny Wallace , who made his record 547th and final appearance with the series, spun twice. He ended up 15th. Blaney ’s No. 22 sustained some damage on the first green-white-checkered attempt as Brendan Gaughan tried to make a run to his low side, but didn’t clear his left rear. No hard feelings, Blaney said. Just good, hard racing. “Wouldn’t want it any other way,” Blaney said. Still, the twisted metal gave Smith hope — until he missed his mark on the final restart. “He went a lot earlier than I anticipated,” said Smith, who notched his best finish this season. “It was my fault for not being ready.” No one could mount much for Blaney all night. Blaney led every green flag lap. He led 160 more laps than he’s ever led in an XFINITY Series race. And his first win of 2015 came at a track where he snared his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in 2012. “Just a fun place,” said Blaney , whose 252 laps led, unsurprisingly, proved to be a track record. “We’ve always had good runs here.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Suarez, Blaney starting on front row; Kenny Wallace qualifies seventh RELATED: Full qualifying results Daniel Suarez soared past Ryan Blaney in the final 30 seconds of qualifying to earn himself the second Coors Light Pole Award of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career. The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver had a fast lap of 133.441 mph in 23.606 seconds during the qualifing session on Saturday at Iowa Speedway. Team Penske 's Blaney will join Suarez on the front row during the U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, Sirius XM) after coming in second on the leaderboard with a speed of 133.373 mph (23.618 seconds). Rounding out the top three during the XFINITY Series qualifying session was veteran Brendan Gaughan in his No. 62 Chevrolet (132.861 mph). For his eighth start at Iowa Speedway, Gaughan is looking for his first win at the track. The drivers of the No. 33 Chevrolet, Brandon Jones (132.750 mph), and the No. 54, Drew Herring (132.760 mph), came in fourth and fifth, respectively. Herring was filling in for Erik Jones , who was en route from Pocono Raceway after the Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 and was unable to participate in any of the practices or the qualifying round. XFINITY Series points leader, Chris Buescher , was next on the leaderboard as he qualified sixth with a fastest lap of 132.364 mph. Kenny Wallace was right behind Buescher with a strong seventh-place starting spot. Wallace will be racing for the last time as a full-time NASCAR driver Saturday night at Iowa Speedway as he recently announced his retirement. He is looking for his 10th career win. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver focused on current job, says 'the future will work itself out' NEWTON, Iowa -- Some way or another, it seems inevitable that Ryan Blaney , currently running part-time schedules in both the Sprint Cup Series (for Wood Brothers Racing ) and XFINITY Series (for Team Penske ) is bound for a full-time Cup ride in 2016. With Roger Penske only fielding two full-time Cup entries for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in 2015, he loaned his developmental talent to the fellow Ford organization for roughly 18 starts to get his feet wet while future plans for the son of long-time Cup driver Dave Blaney get sorted out. As of Sunday, there have been no conversations about adding a third Cup team for Penske next season. "There hasn't (been any talk about a third Penske team)," Blaney said after wheeling the No. 22 to a fifth-place finish in the 3M 250 XFINITY race at Iowa Speedway . "We're working hard at doing what we can for the future, and that's with whatever team, you know? Our main focus is trying to finish out this year strong with the Wood Brothers." Talks about Blaney's future have intensified after the 21-year-old started third and finished fourth at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. An Associated Press report was published on Saturday in which Penske also confirmed that his organization isn't currently interested in expanding to three cars, but that a full season with Blaney in the No. 21 Fusion is possible, provided that enough funding is secured. "I'd hope there can be an extension … we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske told the AP. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours … we've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." In the meantime, Blaney knows he can only control what happens on the race track, and his focus is on making the most of his time behind the respective wheels of both the Nos. 21 and 22. "We're excited to go to the (Coca-Cola) 600 next week. We're really pumped about that," Blaney said. "After our good run at Talladega and we tested at Charlotte and I thought it went really well; just really excited to get back there and we're always working to get towards the future. We can definitely have wishful thinking. "We really just focus on here and now," said Blaney . "I always say 'You do your job here in the present and the stuff for the future will work itself out.'" FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ryan Blaney discusses the caution-filled end of the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by New Holland, the rebound after last week's disappointment in Indianapolis and leading over 250 laps in a dominant performance at Iowa Speedway.
Ryan Blaney leads 252 laps en route to his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win of 2015.
Ryan Blaney expresses relief after finally getting a win in 2015 following his disappointing finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend.
Nick Duncan recaps Ryan Blaney's win in Iowa as he redeems himself from last week's finish at Indy.
Regan Smith and Brendan Gaughan talk about chasing Ryan Blaney on the final two restarts of the race at Iowa Speedway.
Blaney's best finish of third with Tommy Baldwin Racing came in 2011 at Talladega
Driver 'kept having flashbacks' after giving up lead on final lap BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Ryan Blaney said he “didn’t sleep a lot Saturday night” as he played the ending of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race over and over in his mind. “I kept having flashbacks of Turn 2 and that’s not what you want to do,” the Wood Brothers Racing driver said Wednesday during a break in testing at Bristol (Tennessee) Motor Speedway. “Especially when you have a (Sprint) Cup race the next day; especially when it’s the Brickyard … your Brickyard debut.” Blaney is scheduled to compete in 18 Sprint Cup Series races this season for Wood Brothers Racing . The 21-year old is also running select XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series events this season for Team Penske and Brad Keselowski Racing, respectively. After leading 24 of the final 25 laps in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at IMS, Blaney lost the lead to race winner Kyle Busch on the final trip around the legendary 2.5-mile track. A two-time winner in the XFINITY Series, Blaney was looking for his first trip to Victory Lane this season. Instead, it was Busch’s second win in the series since returning from injuries suffered in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. A miscue by Blaney – he missed his mark as he and Busch rolled into Turn 2 – opened the door for Busch, who shot underneath the leader to take over the top spot on the backstretch. “I thought about it all the way up until I got in the race car (on Sunday), then I forgot about it,” Blaney said of the misstep. His Sunday run in the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard likely helped ease the disappointment. In only his eighth start of the season (rain kept the team out of two events when qualifying was cancelled), Blaney raced his way to a 12th place finish. “You just have to put that stuff in the back of your mind and forget about it,” he said. “The support that not only Team Penske showed me, but the Wood Brothers and other competitors has really helped me out. “You can only take away the learning experience from it, learn not to do that the next time.” Blaney and the Wood Brothers were one of 13 teams testing Wednesday at BMS. NASCAR returns to the 0.533-mile track next month for the Aug. 22 running of the Irwin Tools Night Race . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule