Sports

Dillon takes points lead into Phoenix

Avondale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Xfinity Series will run its fourth race of the season on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ty Dillon holds the lead in the championship standings after beginning the season with three straight top-10 finishes. Dillon placed third at both Daytona and Atlanta and then eighth at Las Vegas. He has a six-point lead over Chris Buescher and a 15-point advantage over Ryan Reed. Darrell Wallace Jr. trails by 16, and Chase Elliott, the defending series champion, is 24 behind.

Dillon, the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, finished fourth and 10th at Phoenix last year, his rookie season in Xfinity. He made his second-career Sprint Cup Series start at this flat, one-mile track last November, placing 27th in the No. 33 Chevrolet.

"I've always enjoyed Phoenix because I like racing short tracks," Dillon said. "I grew up racing dirt late models on short tracks and always enjoy the opportunity to utilize my short track racing skills. Last year, we found a lot of speed and had two solid finishes (at Phoenix). We're looking to build on our fourth-place finish last November and hopefully get to the winner's circle."

Dillon has one win in 48 career Xfinity starts. His victory occurred in last year's race at Indianapolis.

Dillon's older brother, Austin, is one of four Sprint Cup regulars competing in this 200-mile race. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano are the others.

Last weekend, Austin Dillon won at Las Vegas with a dominating performance. The driver of the No. 33 RCR Chevrolet led 183 of 200 laps en route to his third career victory in Xfinity.

"The No. 33 Rheem (sponsor) team has put together a fleet of great race cars this season," Dillon said. "We showed last weekend we can put together a good race. Just because we won doesn't mean we can sit back and not try anything new. We always have to be working at figuring out how to make the cars go faster and drive better. I'm confident this team will be run up front this year."

Dillon won the series championship in 2013 before he became a rookie in Sprint Cup the following year.

Forty-one teams are on the entry list for the Axalta Faster, Tougher, Brighter 200.

Series: NASCAR Xfinity. Date: Saturday, March 14. Race: Axalta Faster, Tougher, Brighter 200. Site: Phoenix International Raceway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 4 p.m. ET. Laps: 200. Miles: 200. 2014 Winner: Kyle Busch. Television: FOX. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.