Sports

Dillon dominant in Xfinity race at Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Austin Dillon put on a dominating performance but had to hold off a hard-charging Ryan Blaney in the closing laps to wins Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dillon, a Sprint Cup Series regular, started on the pole and led 183 of 200 laps. He drove the No. 33 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in this 300- mile race. Dillon claimed his third career win in NASCAR's second-tier series, but it was his first since September 2012 at Kentucky. He won the 2013 Xfinity championship but did so without scoring a victory that season.

"This is awesome," Dillon said. "This is my third Xfinity win, and I'm really proud of this one. I love Vegas too."

Dillon won a Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas in 2010.

Blaney, driving the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, pitted during a late-race caution and ran in ninth for the final restart with 21 laps to go. Blaney, with new tires, quickly charged through the field and took second with eight laps to go.

"There at the end, the 22 (Blaney) put a heck of a charge on," Dillon said. "I didn't know he had (new) tires. I was like, 'Man, where did he come from?' It was like he had a jet pack."

Dillon prevented Blaney from passing him several times during the last two laps. He beat Blaney to the finish line by 0.664 seconds.

"Got a good run off of (turn) four coming to the white (flag), and (Dillon) did what he needed to do and stopped my run," Blaney said. "Then I slipped a little in one and two on the white flag up top and couldn't get to his outside. It was a good run for us. I think it was a good call to come in and put four (tires) on it and tighten me up some more. I was really loose all day, and we didn't have anything for the 33 (Dillon) all day, and that gave us a shot at it."

Blaney and Erik Jones, the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, forced the sixth and final caution on lap 173. Just after a restart, Blaney got loose and bumped into Jones, who spun out and slammed into the outside wall in turn 4. Both drivers were battling for position at the time of their incident.

"Unfortunately that contact with Erik, that sucked and it got me really loose on the bottom of (turns) three and four and I hit him a little bit," Blaney said. "I hate to see him wreck. That was unfortunate."

Blaney pitted during that last caution for four new tires.

Jones had led a total of seven laps before he crashed. He ended up finishing 29th.

"(Blaney) just lost it. Not a lot of car control on his end," Jones said. "It was really unfortunate to be taken out that late. We had a strong car - one that I thought could have contended for the win."

Regan Smith finished third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, the defending Xfinity champion.

Brendan Gaughan, a Las Vegas native, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon, who is Austin's younger brother, Brennan Poole and Daniel Suarez completed the top-10.

Ty Dillon took over the points lead. He holds a six-point advantage over Chris Buescher, who finished 14th. Ryan Reed, the 15th-place finisher, is third in the standings (-15), followed by Wallace (-16) and Elliott (-24).