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."
RELATED: Full starting lineup Saturday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series was canceled by heavy Friday rain and a shifting weekend schedule at Dover International Speedway , placing Ryan Blaney on the pole for Saturday's race. Qualifying for the Hisense 200 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the 28th of 33 races this season, was originally scheduled for 12:15 p.m. ET. But a complete rainout of Friday's schedule at the 1-mile track forced NASCAR officials to scramble Saturday's slate, with qualifying for Sprint Cup and K&N Pro Series East cars also being nixed. The washout puts Blaney on the pole for Saturday's 200 -miler by virtue of his Team Penske No. 22 Ford ranking first in the XFINITY owners' points standings. He'll start alongside Kyle Busch , a four-time winner in the series this year, in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. Chris Buescher , a two-time winner this season and the leader in the XFINITY drivers' standings, will start third in the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford. Brothers Ty and Austin Dillon will complete the top five on the starting grid. With 40 cars on site for 40 starting berths in a full field, no teams failed to qualify.
RELATED: Race results " Updated NXS standings DOVER, Del. -- Regan Smith charged from fourth to first during a restart on Lap 121 and stayed there for the rest of the Hisense 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Dover International Speedway Saturday, posting his second victory of the season and working his way back into championship contention. After a 31-minute rain delay, Smith passed Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and leader Elliott Sadler on the restart on Lap 121 of 200 , staved off intense pressure from Hamlin midway through the final green-flag run and pulled away as the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates battled for second place. Without a concrete deal in place for next season, Smith won for the first time at the Monster Mile -- in fact, the 80 laps he led were the first circuits he had ever spent out front at Dover. The victory was the sixth of Smith's career, and all of them have come under the JR Motorsports banner. RELATED: Dillon has tire failure as caution waves Hamlin won the fight for the runner-up spot, crossing the finish line .703 seconds behind Smith. Busch led a race-high 110 laps and came home third, followed by Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson . Austin Dillon ran sixth, one spot ahead of Chase Elliott , who moved into second place in the series standings, 24 points behind leader Chris Buescher , who finished eighth on Saturday. Smith, who rallied from a flat tire in the first third of the race, took over third in points, 36 behind Buescher. "I knew the car was fast, but I didn't know it was that fast until we got out in clean air," Smith said in Victory Lane. "This wasn't a Hail Mary. We came from the back to the front and just had a fast race car. "If we can keep doing that every week, and get another win or two here or there, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm trying to figure out some things for next year, so wins never hurt -- that's never a bad thing going forward." A victory for Smith was not even a remote consideration when a light rain began falling shortly after the halfway point, with the race already under caution for a wreck involving Stanton Barrett and Cale Conley on Lap 106. Sadler, whose 2016 move to JR Motorsports was announced on Friday, took two new tires under the yellow and was first off pit road, leading the race and praying for a monsoon. But the rain abated, depriving Sadler of a going-away present to Roush Fenway Racing , the organization he will leave at season's end. "I've never had much luck with the rain," Sadler said ruefully. "I've always been on the wrong side of that, going back to the 2009 Daytona 500 (where Sadler was fifth with a chance to win when the race was called because of rain after 152 laps)." Note: Ty Dillon cut a tire and hit the outside wall on Lap 24, resulting in a 28th-place finish. He slipped from second to fourth in the series standings, 39 points back of Buescher.
Kyle Busch will lead off the start of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200
RELATED: Track live weather updates " Updated Dover weekend schedule DOVER, Del. -- All track activity at Dover International Speedway for Friday has been canceled due to inclement weather. Friday's opening practice for Sprint Cup Series teams was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Coors Light Pole Qualifying was set for 3:45 p.m. Now, the lineup for Sunday's AAA 400 (2:30 p.m., NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) will be set per the NASCAR rulebook, meaning the 43-car field will be set based on current points standings. That will put Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Matt Kenseth , Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards 1-2-3, with Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) and Jimmie Johnson ( Hendrick Motorsports ) completing the top five. RELATED: See the full starting lineup for Sunday's Cup race Additionally, qualifying in the XFINITY Series, scheduled for Saturday, has also been cancelled. Ryan Blaney , who is driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, which leads the series' owner points, will start on the pole as that field will also be set per the rulebook. RELATED: See the full lineup Activity in three series -- Sprint Cup , XFINITY and K&N Pro Series East -- was scheduled to take place at the 1-mile track. However, rain fell steadily in the area all morning as Hurricane Joaquin churns away from the East Coast. Two Sprint Cup practice sessions are on tap for Saturday, from 11-11:50 a.m. ET and 12:30-2:50 p.m. ET. The Sprint Cup garage will open at 9 a.m. ET. Friday's season-ending K&N race, the Drive Sober 125, has been rescheduled for approximately 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday while the start of the Hisense 200 XFINITY Series race, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), remains unchanged.
Regan Smith saves enough fuel to hold of a charging Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch and claim his first victory at Dover International Speedway.
RELATED: Stewart through the years Watching Tony Stewart as he announced his plans to step out of full-time NASCAR competition in 2017 reminded me a whole lot of the Tony Stewart I first met in 1996 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , a driver who always made the racing beat a little more interesting and lot more entertaining for the last two decades. On the track and off it. Stewart, 44, was cutting up, smiling and relaxed Wednesday afternoon sharing his news and holding court in front of a room of reporters -- easing at times, but sincere and authentic. His larger-than-life persona has always been in proportion with his talent. Like a lot of people, I have mixed emotions about not watching him race every week, but they are trumped by the idea that Stewart could now exhale and be at peace. He seems very much so. And he deserves it. I'd spoken with him in previous months about the possibility of his "don't call it retirement." He bounced the idea off plenty of people and admitted that most tried to talk him out of it. I noticed that Stewart was especially chipper last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , and after the race was feisty like I had long known him to be. He was smiling a lot more. There was a definite good vibe. Clearly, he was ready to make this career-impacting announcement -- to move on, not aside. RELATED: Stewart: 'Deep down you know when it's time' It's the rare exception that a racing driver possesses the talent of his heroes, and in Stewart's case, he also shares a good bit of their personality. He loved racing against Dale Earnhardt, who loved racing against Tony Stewart . And he took A.J. Foyt's famed No. 14 for his own Chevy when he moved to Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart is deservedly and fittingly compared to those two legends in his racing accomplishments, and in what has become a time of polish, politeness and political correctness, there will probably not be another so similar out of the driver's seat, either. Sometimes, Stewart's temperament -- the sarcastic interviews or the pit road confrontations -- diverted our appreciation for what a remarkable racer he is. RELATED: Statement from Brian France on Stewart Stewart is still the only driver to win an IndyCar championship (1997) and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles (2002, 2005, 2011). He was the first to win three USAC national titles (Midget, Sprint Car and Silver Crown) in one season (1996) and his results in racing's Memorial Day "Double" (ninth in Indy 500 and fourth in Coca-Cola 600 ) are unmatched. Everything you need to know about Stewart's drive was evident in his 2011 Sprint Cup championship run when after going winless during the regular season he won five of the last 10 races -- including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- to claim his third title trophy in a tiebreaker over Carl Edwards . He promises a similarly motivated final season in 2016 with a Daytona 500 and Southern 500 trophy still on his to-do list. "I've been very fortunate to do what I've loved to do for 37 years up to this point, and next year it will be 38 and there's no period on it at the end of next year," Stewart said this week. "It's just a little change. I still plan on adding stats for years to come after 2016." Asked about his legacy, which surely includes a NASCAR Hall of Fame induction, Stewart was more reflective, even philosophic. RELATED: Quotes from Stewart's retirement announcement "I really haven't thought about it, to be honest because to me at the end of the day I'm happy with who I am,'' he said. "I look at myself in the mirror and I'm comfortable with who I am and what I've done and the path that I've been down." And who could ask for more than that? "I think everything that's happened in my life has happened for a reason,'' Stewart said. "I think there's things that I would have skipped in my life and things that have not happened, but I think everything in the big picture has happened for a reason and is part of something that's a lot bigger than what we are this room."
RELATED: Qualifying results Matt Crafton earned himself his second Keystone Light pole of the season, and the ninth of his career, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during Saturday's qualifying session. Crafton wheeled his No. 88 Chevrolet around the 1.5-mile track with a fastest lap of 176.396 mph during the final minute of qualifying. Joining Crafton on the front row for Saturday night's race is John Wes Townley . Townley drove his No. 05 Chevrolet to a quick lap of 175.758 mph. And rounding out the top three was the No. 33 Chevrolet of Brandon Jones , who had a fastest lap of 175.678 mph. Next was the No. 17 of Timothy Peters (175.490 mph), followed by the No. 54 of Christopher Bell (175.308 mph) coming in fourth and fifth, respectively. Defending race winner, Erik Jones , failed to advance to the second, and final, round and qualified 15th (174.531 mph), but will start at the rear of the field due to an engine change. On-track action picks back up at Las Vegas at 10 p.m. ET for the Rhino Linings 350 (146 laps, 219 miles), FOX Sports 1.
RELATED: Full final practice results Kevin Harvick topped the speed chart in final practice for Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Raceway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). He wheeled the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet around Dover's 1-mile track at a top speed of 156.033 mph in the 14 laps he ran before rain resumed, ending the session. Carl Edwards was second-fastest in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs racing Toyota at 156.013 mph, followed by Kasey Kahne in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 155.783 mph. Harvick's teammate Kurt Busch and the No. 41 Chevrolet posted the fourth-fastest speed in the final Sprint Cup practice session at 155.588 mph. Sitting on the Chase bubble going into Sunday's race, Dale Earnhardt Jr . got the fifth-quickest speed out of his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 155.434 mph. Amid a schedule compressed by rain that wiped out all of Friday's on-track activities and cut into Saturday's first practice, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers lost the track to rain again about 15 minutes into the second session. RELATED: First practice results After more rain doused Dover International Speedway Saturday morning, canceling NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series got a 25-minute practice in and Kasey Kahne made the most of it. Kahne wheeled his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet around Dover's 1-mile track at 160.506 mph, topping the speed chart. Carl Edwards was second quickest in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 160.442 mph. JGR teammate Denny Hamlin was right behind Edwards at 160.285 mph. It was the first time Sprint Cup cars had been on track after rain washed out Friday's practice and qualifying. Kevin Harvick was fourth on the leaderboard at 159.964 mph in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. The No. 4 team and No. 2 team of Brad Keselowski had been docked 15 minutes of practice time for infractions at New Hampshire in the inspection process. Given the amended schedule, neither the Stewart-Haas entry nor the Team Penske entry was required to serve the time -- it will instead carry over to the next race at Charlotte. Aric Almirola rounded out the top five with a speed of 159.943 mph in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
Meet Kim, Official NASCAR Fan Council member of the month Name: Kim Current City: Hayward, California Member since: 2012 Getting to know Kim Q. Why did you join the Official NASCAR Fan Council? "I was impressed that NASCAR wanted to hear the opinions of the fans. Can't think of another sport that cares so much about their fan base." Q. What comes to mind when you think of NASCAR? What's your favorite NASCAR memory? "Anticipation! I start getting excited two days before the race. My favorite memory is reaching the top of the grandstands at Charlotte in May of 2008 and seeing, hearing and feeling my first Cup car as it flew past me. It. Was. AWESOME! It cemented my love of the sport right then and there -- the 2008 All-Star race was my very first race!" Q: Do you have a favorite in any of the following categories? Driver: " Kasey Kahne " Track: " Sonoma " Memorabilia: "I have an entire room devoted to NASCAR. As Kasey Kahne won the first two races I attended (2008 All-Star Race, 2009 Sonoma race), my favorite memorabilia are the framed photos from those events. Not to mention the photos I have with both Kasey and Kenny Francis (who I adore!)." Q: If you could go to any NASCAR race/track, where would you go? "I've been to Charlotte, Talladega and Sonoma . I'd like to make it to the Daytona 500 one day!" Q: What do you like to do in your free time? "I read, crochet and keep up on NASCAR gossip. I'm also a HUGE Doctor Who fan." Q: Tell us about your family. Do you have children and/or pets? "I've been married to my husband, John, for 37 years. I have three adult children -- Lillian is a teacher, Kendall is an attorney and my youngest, Rebecca, is an RN. Right now we have 6 cats and an elderly dog!" Q: What's your dream car? "A Chevy truck!" From all of us at NASCAR, we thank Kim for Her continued support and look forward to hearing from her in 2015! Look for Kim on the Official NASCAR Fan Council page on NASCAR.COM.