Dillon dominant in Xfinity Series race at Charlotte

Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Austin Dillon claimed his second win in the Xfinity Series this season with a dominating performance in Saturday's Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Dillon, a regular in the Sprint Cup Series and the 2013 Xfinity champion, started on the pole and led 163 of 200 laps around this 1.5-mile racetrack.

Denny Hamlin, who is Dillon's fellow competitor in Sprint Cup, grabbed the lead from Dillon following the last restart with 34 laps to go. Earlier in the race, Hamlin had to pit unexpectedly for a loose wheel and fell one lap behind. He benefited from a caution shortly after to get back on the lead lap and then work his way through the field.

Dillon had dropped to third in the running order after the final restart, but he worked his way back to the top, as he passed Hamlin for the lead with 15 laps to go. Dillon beat Hamlin to the finish line by 2.7 seconds.

"I didn't want to get out of this (car). It drove so good," Dillon said. "It was a heck of a race there with Denny at the end. I had to go right there in lapped traffic. I knew that if I didn't hurry up and get in front of him, the tires might equal out or something."

Dillon, the driver of the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, scored his fourth career victory in Xfinity. All four of them have occurred on 1.5- mile tracks. He won both Kentucky races from the pole during the 2012 season. On March 7, he took the checkered flag at Las Vegas after starting first and leading 183 of 200 laps there.

Hamlin made his last scheduled start in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Xfinity this season. Kyle Busch had normally driven that car until he suffered a broken right leg and left foot during an accident in the Xfinity season- opener at Daytona three months ago. Busch is scheduled to compete in his first Sprint Cup points-paying race this season in Sunday's 600-mile event at Charlotte.

"Austin did a great job coming back there," Hamlin said. "I'm happy with a second-place finish, considering what I thought we had for a car all day. I thought we were probably a fifth-or-sixth-place car at best, but we were able to get a good restart and tried to hold those guys off. (Dillon) just had a little too much speed for me."

Kasey Kahne, who drove the No. 5 car for JR Motorsports in this race, finished third, while his teammate, Regan Smith, an Xfinity regular, placed fourth.

Darrell Wallace Jr., a rookie in the series this season, was fifth, followed by Daniel Suarez, also a rookie in 2015, and Ty Dillon, who is Austin's younger brother.

Smith, Wallace, Suarez and Ty Dillon were the top-four finishing Xfinity regulars in this race and therefore qualified for the first "Dash 4 Cash" event in the series this season, which is next Saturday at Dover. The highest finisher of those four drivers at Dover will collect a $100,000 bonus.

Chase Elliott, the defending Xfinity champion, finished eighth, while Elliott Sadler and Ryan Blaney completed the top-10.

Despite finishing 11th, Chris Buescher remained atop the championship standings. Ty Dillon trimmed Buescher's lead from eight points to four. Elliott is now 28 points behind the leader, while Wallace trails by 30.

Buescher took over the points lead last weekend when he won at Iowa.