RELATED: See how Blaney won at Kentucky On the surface, it's a bit of an unorthodox NASCAR schedule for Ryan Blaney . The 21-year-old is running part-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Wood Brothers Racing in the No. 21 Ford and the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Team Penske in the No. 22 Ford, all while making a handful of starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing in the No. 29 Ford. "By the time all the races are added up, it's almost a full schedule," Blaney told NASCAR.com last weekend at Kentucky Speedway . "It has its positives and negatives to be running part-time in everything. The great thing is I get to run three great series with amazing race teams that I know will go out and have a fast car or truck every weekend or every time I get in them. Those are big positives that I can drive different things every single week." And the negatives? "It's hard to get in a rhythm of running the same car, so that's kind of tough," Blaney said. "That takes myself and the team time to get back acclimated to the driver and me to the race car. It has its ups and downs, but I'm fortunate to be with three great race teams and be able to do what we love and be competitive." Blaney did not have trouble finding a rhythm as he wheeled the No. 22 Ford to Victory Lane in the XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway . He led a race-high 81 laps and used a strong restart on a green-white-checkered finish to take home the win. The victory was the second time in three years that Team Penske has swept the season's two Kentucky XFINITY races. "Honestly, I've never seen a team be so dominant at a race track," Blaney said after the win. "It feels like every time we come here, the 22 car is one of the favorites to win and usually does it." Greg Erwin, the No. 22 team's crew chief, has noticed Blaney's growth firsthand since seeing him in 2013. In addition to the Kentucky win, Erwin and Blaney teamed up for a win in August at Iowa Speedway . "He's certainly a little more polished," Erwin noted of Blaney's development as a driver. "I think his communication is a little more precise. I think his confidence is certainly high and I think he's got the talent, certainly that it takes, and the rest of that will come with time behind a steering wheel. That's the hardest thing right now I think, is jumping in, running in all three series and getting as much time on the race track as he can." In his young career, Blaney has four wins each in the XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series. And in his first part-time Sprint Cup Series season, he scored his best Sprint Cup finish in May at Talladega with a fourth-place result. His Wood Brothers No. 21 team has had speed, but qualifying rainouts have been the bugaboo. RELATED: Blaney discusses 'very frustrating' Cup qualifying rainouts Along the way to becoming a rising young talent in the sport, Blaney has had some guidance, namely from his dad, Dave, as well as 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski . "Brad's been one of the biggest mentors for me right after my dad," Blaney said of Keselowski's impact on his career. "He gave me an opportunity in 2012 to drive his trucks for him and I did that for a couple years, which opened the doors at Penske and it opened the doors at the Wood Brothers. He's kind of been the main guy that’s started me off in my career getting racing in the top three series and I can't thank him enough for that. He's taught me so much on the race track, off the race track. He's been really helpful to me. "Brad's a unique teacher. To be able to drive for him has been really cool too, because you can kind of see the owner in him. And then when he would drive the other truck sometimes and I could race against him that was really, really neat. ... You'd ask him a question and he'd give you part of an answer and then you would kind of have to figure the rest of it out, and I really liked that. It's kind of the way my dad did it. "He's obviously one of the smartest racers out there, I feel like, when it comes to strategy and always thinking inside the car. That's something I've tried to take from him. ... Not only on the racing side, just thinking of other things too, whether it's underneath the car to try to make it faster, things like that." Dave Blaney , a veteran of 473 Sprint Cup Series starts and the 1995 World of Outlaws Champion, has impacted his son's career as well. Ryan credits his dad with teaching him a lesson that has become invaluable to him with extended seat time and longer races in the Sprint Cup Series. "Patience is one of the biggest things in racing, especially now that I've gotten started doing some Cup stuff," Ryan Blaney said. "Five-hundred-mile races, one 600-miler that we do ... those are long races. A lot longer than Truck and XFINITY races and that's really been a big learning curve for me of how you have so many opportunities to work on your race car and you have to be really precise with how you change things. "That was the biggest change to me. Running Trucks for a couple of years, the races are so short. You only have a couple of chances to work on your truck, so you take huge swings. In the Cup car, you can't really do that, you have to take littler steps and kind of fine-tune things. That was one of the biggest things he taught me early and now I'm kind of figuring it out for myself." And with silly season talk running rampant throughout the garage and in the media, Blaney remains focused on finishing out 2015 strong. With a Kentucky win in his pocket, Blaney is on the entry list for Saturday's XFINITY Series Hisense 200 at Dover International Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "Honestly, we'd like to do more races but that's a lot easier said than done," he said. "I think the best thing we can do is try to focus on winning races in this 22 car, try to bring home a (owner's) championship (in XFINITY ) and finishing out the season strong with the Wood Brothers is going to be really big for our cause. We're working on it. Hopefully, we will know something soon."
NASCAR.com's Chuck Bush recaps the 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway where several of the NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers battled for the win and a shot at the outright points lead.
SPARTA, Ky. -- Coming to Kentucky Speedway is a homecoming of sorts for Louisville, Kentucky native Ben Rhodes . It's so much of one that there will be a big contingent of supporters -- the size of say, one's high school -- for the young driver in the stands. "I know we will have a lot of people in the stands coming out," Rhodes said during a media availability ahead of Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "I actually have my old high school coming, friends, family." In total, Rhodes estimated he will have roughly a 6,000-fan strong support section. Rhodes graduated from Holy Cross High School in May, although he missed that ceremony to make his XFINITY Series debut at Iowa Speedway . That finish, a seventh-place result, is his best this season. And while he hasn't yet run a NASCAR event at Kentucky, he did race in the ARCA Racing Series event last year and he hopes to pull from that previous experience at the 1.5-mile oval. The year as a whole has been quite the learning experience for Rhodes, who is piloting the JR Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet this weekend. The 18-year-old has been soaking up information like a sponge from everyone around him. He has spent time on spotters' stands watching races and also picked the brain of JRM co-owner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Dale Earnhardt Jr . Rhodes described meeting Dale Jr. as "very surreal at first because I've watched this guy on TV. I think everybody has if you are a fan of racing. "When I got to first meet him, it was overwhelming, but then I got to sit down and talk to him. I remember the first race I was at with Dale. We were just talking and we had about an hour talk, just kind of welcoming me into the family, the team. That was really cool for me because I have never associated or been around anyone in the Sprint Cup ranks before. So that was really neat. He has been very open with his knowledge, sharing everything and making sure I am picking everything up correctly." And driving the JRM No. 88 "All-Star" car as Earnhardt has described it in the past, can be a daunting task when the drivers include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne . "I feel the pressure when I am in it because of the other performances they've had," Rhodes said. The Kentucky race will mark his eighth start of the 2015 XFINITY Series season. Rhodes is also slated to be in the field next weekend at Dover International Speedway and in the season-finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway . With each time out, Rhodes is looking to make strides. "The goal for the whole season has just been consistent top 10 finishes. We haven't got those consistently. We have some top-10 finishes, but not consistent. A top-10 finish would be great, but man, I'd love to get a win for the hometown crowd. That'd be great. I told Mr. Mark Simendinger ( Kentucky Speedway 's general manager) we might want to get the fire extinguishers ready. The crowd might go crazy." Competing in a NASCAR event here is a dream come true for Rhodes and a victory would potentially render the driver speechless. "I rode past this place when I was seven, eight years old going to go-kart races and didn't quite understand what it was about at the time but I dreamed about racing here. I did it last year in the ARCA race, but to do it in NASCAR, with a huge crowd, would be awesome. I don't know if there's words to describe it."
SPARTA, Ky. -- Brandon Jones will be with Richard Childress Racing ’s NASCAR XFINITY Series program in 2016, but this time, he will have a ride all his own. RCR announced the news on Friday afternoon that the 18-year-old Georgia native will have a full-time ride in the series for next season. The team noted in a release that his crew chief and team will be named at a later date. “It's going to be awesome," Jones told NASCAR.com at Kentucky Speedway . "Been looking forward to that for awhile." Jones has gotten his feet wet in the XFINITY Series this year in the team's No. 33 Chevrolet, which is also driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Austin Dillon and Paul Menard . The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Kentucky Speedway marks his fifth start in the series, with his best finish -- an eighth-place result -- coming in his series debut in May at Iowa Speedway . In Friday's opening practice, Jones was third-fastest on the speed chart (177.194 mph). "Brandon's performance in his limited schedule with RCR this season has been very impressive," Richard Childress, chairman and chief executive officer of RCR, said in a team release. "We're thrilled to provide him an opportunity in 2016 to showcase his talents over an entire XFINITY Series season." In addition to his XFINITY seat time, Jones has run a pretty steady schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for GMS Racing in the No. 33 Chevrolet. He has two top fives this season in 11 starts this season, including a runner-up showing at Iowa in June. The young driver thinks his learning curve will be a bit accelerated with his Truck Series experience at most of the tracks that the XFINITY Series runs at. "I think there's going to be five or so tracks I haven’t been to, but that won't be bad at all," Jones said. "I'm pretty excited being able to go back to some of these tracks in an XFINITY car." For Jones, the deal took some time to come together, but now that it is in place, he is ready to get going. "We've been trying to kind of get a deal together for awhile now," Jones said. "I've been talking to a couple different programs and seeing what our best option was and it all just came together over there. Really proud of everybody that has worked on that so hard and got us going."
RELATED: McReynolds wins at Iowa " Get more with Home Tracks When Brandon McReynolds first prevailed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Iowa Speedway , his father, Larry, rejoiced 1,000 miles away, sharing his glee while broadcasting the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on FOX Sports 1. Last weekend, the 24-year-old driver was close enough to see the reaction for himself, sharing the moment with his father in Victory Lane in the Hawkeye State just 11 weeks later. The father-son duo joined the Bill McAnally Racing team in toasting the NASCAR Next alum's rare Iowa season sweep. The triumph was further proof that the next-generation driver hasn't fallen far from the career path of his father, who oversaw two Daytona 500 wins from atop the pit box for both Davey Allison and Dale Earnhardt. Still, he said he hasn't had any prodding to pursue the same livelihood in motorsports. "One thing I've got to give my dad credit for is there's a lot of dads out there who put a lot of pressure on you to be a race car driver, and he's never done that," Brandon McReynolds said. "He's just said whatever you're going to do in life, put your mind to it and work hard, roll up your sleeves and make the most of it. He's really allowed me to do that. He's allowed me to succeed; he's allowed me to fail. So to see him here and to see the smile and a little bit of tears on his face, it goes a long way with me. "It's really cool to see our relationship grow over the last few years. Obviously, we've always been close because he's my dad, but it's really cool. He's one of my best friends and it's cool to share this with him." The elder McReynolds happily watched the proceedings from the sidelines of Victory Lane, telling the team, "This is your night." He eventually relented, posing for a handful of photos against the backdrop of a moonlit Iowa night. Though Larry McReynolds' obligations with FOX Sports, which came to an end in June, have kept him from seeing more of his son's races in the K&N Pro Series West, he said he's seen growth in the face of some mild adversity. McReynolds has qualified among the top five for all but one race this season, but he has just two top-fives -- both Iowa wins -- to show for the speed. RELATED: Larry McReynolds bids farewell to boothmates While the results haven't been as consistent as hoped, the pieces have come together on the highly competitive stage at Iowa , host of the two combination events for the K&N East and West Series. "I think what he's hung his hat on is they've had a competitive car every single week," Larry McReynolds said. "The season didn't get started good at the beginning with a couple of engine issues and then of course he got spun out a few weeks ago battling for the lead, but I think that's what he's hung his hat on -- the fact that they've been competitive, they've been in position. Like I've always told him, and I speak from all my years of experience, you put yourself in position enough, the deal will get sealed." Though the younger McReynolds' focus for the short term was on savoring the Iowa victory and carrying momentum to the West series' next race Aug. 15 at Evergreen Speedway in Washington, the next deal that needs closure is his plan for next season. McReynolds said that 2016 was still in limbo but hinted that any potential moves would hopefully be made in conjunction with McAnally, a five-time championship team owner in the K&N Pro Series West. "I hate to beat around the bush about it, but obviously we work day in and day out," McReynolds said. "Me and Bill are on the phone constantly to make that next step or to move forward together. Right now, I really don't know, and I'm sure you guys get that answer a lot but it's really the truth. It's hard. We're lucky enough to have the sponsors that we do have with NAPA and Toyota and all of our associates that are behind us, and we hope to grow with those. Obviously, there's going to be some changing coming up here in the future. "There's a lot of movement going on. It seems like our silly season, even at the K&N level, it happens earlier and earlier each year. I know this (win) definitely helps and we'll see what it brings us, but we're working together to try to move forward together as a group."
He also makes his driving finale in Iowa XFINITY Series race RELATED: Iowa to mark Wallace's last start " Matt will race against uncle Kenny The Iowa race weekend is becoming a Wallace family festival, with Kenny Wallace adding grand marshal for the #ThanksKenny 150 to his duties. Wallace announced earlier that the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 1, would be his last start. And he will be joined in that race by fellow driver Matt Wallace , Kenny's nephew and Mike's son. The US Cellular 250 presented by New Holland will be Matt Wallace 's second start in a national series. Kenny Wallace , the all-time leader in career NASCAR XFINITY Series starts (546), will say those famous words at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West race Friday night, July 31 at 9 p.m. ET. The K&N Series also is honoring Wallace by naming the 150-miler the #ThanksKenny 150 as a tribute to Wallace’s 26-year NASCAR career. "When Kenny revealed that his last NASCAR race would come at Iowa Speedway , we gave serious thought to how we could best recognize his accomplishments. We knew we had to put together a celebration as big as his personality," said Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small. "It doesn’t get much bigger than having a race named in your honor. That is something that will live on as long as we keep records, and Kenny Wallace is a person who is truly deserving of that distinction." As grand marshal, Wallace will say the four most famous words in racing -- "Drivers, start your engines!" prior to the start of the race. Following the race, Wallace will be in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane to present the trophy to the winner. "I love connecting with fans from all over the world on social media sites, so when I was told about the hashtag (#ThanksKenny), it really made me smile and laugh at the same time," said Wallace, who announced on Twitter he would be piloting the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at the in the U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland (Aug. 1, 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, MRN, SiriusXM). "I'm really excited to give the command to 'start your engines' on Friday night. That’s definitely something new for me," Wallace said. "But I already have a plan on how I’m going to say it, and of course it will be funny." Wallace has served as a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports, appearing on FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR RaceDay" and "NASCAR Victory Lane" programs. He also does a "Herman Unplugged" feature, offering his opinions on the hot topics in the sport, for NASCAR Illustrated that appears on NASCAR.com. The No. 20 XFINITY Series car has seen five drivers take turns behind the wheel this season for JGR. Erik Jones has made nine starts, Matt Kenseth three, Denny Hamlin three and Ross Kenseth and David Ragan have each made one start in the car. Jones won at Texas, while Hamlin won at Richmond and New Hampshire. 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
Saturday's race start of favorable stretch for points leader NEWTON, Iowa -- The last time Chris Buescher visited Iowa Speedway , he was savoring the laurels of his second career victory and leaving the track as the new NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader. Back in Iowa some 10 weeks and eight races later, he's still atop the XFINITY heap without much major movement in the standings since. With the season entering its second half, no one -- either Buescher or the other title contenders -- has been able to manufacture a significant charge. "I hope it's us," Buescher said of the likelihood of a late-season points swing. "There's really no telling right now. I don't know where these next races are going to go. I know from our side of it, we're prepared for it and we are looking forward to it. We feel like this could be a really good stretch for us. We'll see how it plays out." Buescher aims to retain or build upon his 25-point lead over defending series champion Chase Elliott in Saturday night's U.S. Cellular 250 presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, MRN, SiriusXM). He'll try to accomplish that goal at a .875-mile track that's been kind to his Roush Fenway Racing team (five wins in the last nine Iowa races) and Ford teams in general (seven wins in 11 Iowa races total). "We've had some pretty good runs here in the XFINITY Series. It's just a place that we seem to have something that works pretty well for all of our teams," Buescher said. "We come here each and every time and we always have some kind of shot with one of our team cars to be able to get a win. It is nice. It's a good short track. We love coming to race here. It puts on some of the best racing that we have all year." Buescher's springtime spike -- which included a stretch of eight top-10 finishes in a 10-race span -- has cooled off somewhat as summer temperatures have risen. The 22-year-old Texas native has gone four races without a top 10 and hasn't led a lap in six weeks. But if anything, Buescher said the five races coming up on the XFINITY schedule might be considered a favorable stretch. Among them are three road courses (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America) and two short tracks ( Iowa and Bristol). He'll also return to Mid-Ohio as the defending race winner, aiming to repeat at the site of his first XFINITY victory. With five drivers within 57 points of the lead, it would be hard to blame Buescher for playing the racing equivalent of a prevent defense for the 15 races left in the 33-race schedule. But Buescher insists that the No. 60 team's approach is unlikely to waver down the stretch. "The points are something you have to pay attention to, to an extent," Buescher said. "I don't particularly like points racing. It's not our focus. That's not the one thing that we're going to go chase each and every week. We're out here to go win races and be competitive every week, and if you can do that, you end up in a really good spot in the points battle and you can play it from there. So we're to a point in the year where we've put ourselves in the right situations. "We've got a little bit of a cushion -- not much -- and we can look at that when we go to races. For weekends that we don't have the best run or the run we were hoping for -- like we had at Indy, we were able to salvage and not lose much. When we get into races like that, you have to pay attention to it and know that when it comes down to the end, every point's going to count. At the same time, when we're trying to go out here and win these races, you can't lean on the points too much. You've got to go try and maximize everything you can. If you can win a race, you're going to get more points than anybody else." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Veteran driver will pilot No. 20 Toyota before calling it a career RELATED: Buy Iowa tickets " HERMAN UNPLUGGED: The retirement edition Kenny Wallace will make the final start of his NASCAR career at Iowa Speedway in the U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland (Aug. 1, 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, MRN, SiriusXM). The race at Iowa will mark the end of a 26-year NASCAR career and will also serve as his series-record 547th career start in the series. The veteran driver will go behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at the short track. Wallace finished 23rd in the May race at Iowa and his race will be the third start of the season for the 51-year-old. "To me, this isn't a sad moment; I'm at a truly happy place in my life right now," Wallace said in a release from Rusty Wallace Incorporated. "After all, not too many guys get to have the privilege of being a NASCAR driver, especially for as long as I have. I really wanted to end my long career on a positive note and I'm very excited about our chances in Iowa . The No. 20 team is one of the best in the sport and I'm looking forward to having a chance to end my NASCAR career with a great finish. I really want to thank U.S. Cellular for helping me make that happen." Wallace has made 344 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts in addition to 13 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. However, all nine of his national series wins have come in the XFINITY Series. In 1991, Wallace finished as the runner-up in the standings for that series. Heading into the Iowa race, Wallace has completed the most laps in XFINITY Series history with 101,673. On the Sprint Cup side, Wallace's best finishes were a trio of runner-up showings at Loudon (in 1999), Talladega (in 2000) and Rockingham (in 2001). In addition to still competing every so often, Wallace has served as a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports, appearing on FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR RaceDay" and "NASCAR Victory Lane" programs. He also does a "Herman Unplugged" feature, offering his opinions on the hot topics in the sport, for NASCAR Illustrated that appears on NASCAR.com. "Growing up as a kid and watching my Dad race in Rolla, Missouri, I never dreamed that I'd have the chance to do what I've done in my life," Wallace said. "I've had a long and successful career and I've been able to support my family doing what I love. To me, it doesn't get any better than that. I'm really proud of everything that I've been able to accomplish in NASCAR. "I've been fortunate enough to be able to turn my NASCAR driving career into another career doing something else I love -- that's working with FOX Sports on television. Those guys have been great to me and I get a lot of happiness from being able to educate the fans about the sport that I love. I'm going to stay involved in the sport through TV and I'm going to stay behind the wheel in my dirt cars, too. "You know, everyone experiences change at some point and I'm honestly looking forward to opening the next chapter in my life. As always, I promise that I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it." The No. 20 XFINITY Series car has seen five drivers take turns behind the wheel this season for JGR. Erik Jones has made nine starts, while Matt Kenseth has made three, Denny Hamlin has made two and Ross Kenseth and David Ragan have each made one start in the car. Jones won at Texas, while Hamlin won at Richmond in the car for crew chief Mike Wheeler. The No. 20 team enters the New Hampshire race weekend fourth in the owner standings for the XFINITY Series. Hamlin will pilot the car at the Magic Mile.
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