Redemption! Ryan Blaney Dominates at Iowa to Win U.S. Cellular 250

Redemption! Ryan Blaney Dominates at Iowa to Win U.S. Cellular 250

by August 2, 2015 0 comments

NEWTON, Iowa — Seven days after having victory snatched from his grasp at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney claimed the win at Iowa Speedway in Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250.

The driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford took the win in dominant fashion – leading 252 of 260 laps en route to his third career XFINITY Series victory.

Blaney successfully shook off threats from Regan Smith and Brendan Gaughan on two green-white-checkered restarts to deliver Team Penske’s No. 22 crew their fifth victory of the season.

In his post-race press conference, Blaney said that his car’s performance in the dusk-to-night race was a complete testament to the ability of his crew.

“It really speaks a lot to this team to hear that first stat [with] leading 252 laps,” Blaney said. “It’s really a testament to them about how great they made this race car. They did a great job adjusting on it all night – that’s the most difficult part of these races – we start in the heat of the day and it gets pretty cool at night and our car changes pretty drastically when the sun goes down.

“Greg Erwin [crew chief] did a great job adjusting on it and made sure we stayed on top of the race track. They did a great job, I really appreciate them for sticking with me after last week.”

Completing the top-10 of the race standings were Smith, Brian Scott, Ty Dillon, Gaughan, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Elliott Sadler, Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain.

It wouldn’t be a Saturday night short track race without its fair share of fireworks post-race.

Chastain and 19th-place finisher Ryan Reed had a disagreement on pit road following the race which was initiated by Reed shoving the race’s 10th-place finisher from behind after climbing out of his car.

Reed’s Roush Fenway Racing teammates, Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr., also had a brief discussion on the pit lane after the two came into contact with one another on the race track for the seventh caution of the night.

As shown on NBC Sports Network following the race, Wallace Jr. and Scott Graves, Buescher’s crew chief, briefly exchanged words on pit road with the driver of the No. 6 Ford physically grabbing Graves as he was walking away.

The on-track incident between the two teams wasn’t the first of the year with both the No. 6 and 60 cars coming together at Dover International Speedway back in May.

Eight caution flags flew during the night with the first and second being caused by debris on the race track on Laps 76 and 145.

A solo spin by Dylan Lupton brought out the third caution of the night on Lap 205 while two separate spins by Cale Conley and Kenny Wallace brought out the fourth caution of the night on Lap 211.

Championship contender Elliott was involved in a Lap 231 incident on the frontstretch when he was accidentally put into the wall by Brandon Jones while his JR Motorsports teammate, Ben Rhodes, was sent around by Sadler into the backstretch wall on Lap 241 for the sixth caution of the race.

Buescher and Wallace Jr’s incident set up the first green-white-checkered restart of the night while a Lap 255 incident involving Brennan Poole set up the last restart of the race.

Unofficially, Buescher will take a 20-point lead over Elliott into next Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen. Team Penske’s No. 22 team will take a 72-point lead over Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 car into the next race in the owners standings.

Top-10 Finishers of the U.S. Cellular 250

  1. 22 – Ryan Blaney – Ford – Team Penske
  2. 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
  3. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
  4. 3 – Ty Dillon – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
  5. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
  6. 18 – Daniel Suarez# – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  7. 54 – Erik Jones(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  8. 1 – Elliott Sadler – Ford – Roush Fenway Racing
  9. 9 – Chase Elliott – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
  10. 4 – Ross Chastain# – Chevrolet – JD Motorsports

Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 19 of 33

  1. 60 – Chris Buescher – Roush Fenway Racing – 682 | Leader
  2. 9 – Chase Elliott – JR Motorsports – 662 | -20
  3. 3 – Ty Dillon – Richard Childress Racing – 661 | -21
  4. 7 – Regan Smith – JR Motorsports – 643 | -39
  5. 1 – Elliott Sadler – Roush Fenway Racing – 630 | -52
  6. 6 – Darrell Wallace Jr.# – Roush Fenway Racing – 601 | -81
  7. 18 – Daniel Suarez# – Joe Gibbs Racing – 596 | -86
  8. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Richard Childress Racing – 576 | -106
  9. 2 – Brian Scott – Richard Childress Racing – 568 | -114
  10. 16 – Ryan Reed – Roush Fenway Racing – 551 | -131

# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR XFINITY Series points.

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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