Austin Dillon Fends Off Ryan Blaney to Dominate Boyd Gaming 300by Kyle Pokrefky March 7, 2015 0 comments
Photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images
LAS VEGAS — If you looked up the word ‘dominance’ in the dictionary, chances are you’d see a picture of Austin Dillon in the entry after crushing the competition in the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Claiming his first victory in the XFINITY Series since September 2012, Dillon led 183 of 200 laps to score his third career series victory ahead of a hard-charging Ryan Blaney.
In the run to the checkered flag, Blaney’s No. 22 Discount Tire Ford was steadily reeling in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet of Dillon, allowing the driver of the No. 22 to close right on the back bumper of the No. 33. But, Dillon, the 2013 series champion, was able to expertly fend off Blaney’s threats to cruise to the finish line clear of Blaney by 664 thousandths of a second.
“There at the end, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to do whatever you can to win,” Dillon said of the run to the finish. “Our car was dominant all day and to give one away like that, it would have been heartbreaking.
“I hadn’t heard in my ear all day that someone was catching me and he was catching me at about three tenths a lap and that was all I had. The other good thing was my crew chief [Nick Harrison] made sure no one told me that he had tires on so I wasn’t second guessing myself.
“Fun last few laps and I’m glad that it ended like that because those are memorable races. It was a dominant performance but at the end it was a race. That’s what the XFINITY Series is for and it gave a good show at the end.”
“I didn’t think we were going to have a shot at it, we didn’t get through traffic great,” Blaney said. “We got through there decent, I think we were fourth with 15 to go or whatever. Spent a little bit too much time passing the No. 54 (Denny Hamlin) and No. 7 (Regan Smith) than I wanted to. I was kind of cautious there.
“I was surprised we actually ran him down. I knew with clean air until we got to him that we would be okay and we got to him sooner than I thought. We got a good run off of [Turn] 4, I think it was coming to the white and he did what he needed to do to stop my run and I slipped a little bit in 1 and 2 on the white flag on top and couldn’t get to his outside.”
Rounding out the top-10 of the finishing order were Smith, Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Brendan Gaughan, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, Brennan Poole, and Daniel Suárez.
Six caution periods occurred during the 200-lap event, one being for debris and four for solo incidents involving Mike Bliss, Blake Koch, Mario Gosselin, and Dakoda Armstrong.
Race contender Erik Jones was wrapped up in the final caution of the day after being sent around after contact on his left rear quarterpanel by Blaney, who got loose underneath Jones’s No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota in Turn 4. Jones hung on to his sideways as long as he could until he overcorrected and shot his car hard into the outside wall in an area not protected by a SAFER barrier.
Following the incident, Blaney apologized for the contact during his post-race presser.
“It’s a racing incident but you never want to see a wrecked race car [with] you being a part of it,” Blaney said. “I know it’s a racing deal, you just hate to be in that position. That’s the worst spot to be in – to be pinned down on the bottom and to have someone right on your door. It happens, but I don’t like getting into things with people and I hate to see a race car torn up. I hate to see that.
“I hope he knows I feel bad about it, but we’ve got to move on eventually.”
Entering next week’s Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Ty Dillon will take a six-point points lead over Chris Buescher heading into the fourth race of the XFINITY season.
Top-10 Finishers of the Boyd Gaming 300
- 33 – Austin Dillon(i) – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 22 – Ryan Blaney – Ford – Team Penske
- 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
- 54 – Denny Hamlin(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 9 – Chase Elliott – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
- 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 6 – Darrell Wallace Jr.# – Ford – Roush Fenway Racing
- 3 – Ty Dillon – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
- 42 – Brennan Poole – Chevrolet – HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi
- 18 – Daniel Suárez# – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 3 of 33
- 3 – Ty Dillon – Richard Childress Racing – 119 | Leader
- 60 – Chris Buescher – Roush Fenway Racing – 113 | -6
- 16 – Ryan Reed – Roush Fenway Racing – 104 | -15
- 6 – Darrell Wallace Jr.# – Roush Fenway Racing – 103 | -16
- 9 – Chase Elliott – JR Motorsports – 95 | -24
- 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Richard Childress Racing – 86 | -33
- 7 – Regan Smith – JR Motorsports – 86 | -33
- 44 – David Starr – TriStar Motorsports – 83 | -36
- 1 – Elliott Sadler – Roush Fenway Racing – 82 | -37
- 4 – Ross Chastain – JD Motorsports – 81 | -38
# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR XFINITY Series points.