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NASCAR Xfinity: Kyle Larson dominates at Dover

Kyle Larson leads the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway on June 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Larson leads the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway on June 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Kyle Larson led 137 laps of the 200-lap OneMain Financial 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Saturday, parlaying that performance into his third series win for the season.
“Had a blast,” Larson said. “(Ryan) Blaney was probably equal as me, but we just got a better start, there, after that second stage.”
Two more Monster Energy Sprint Cup Series regulars finished in the top-five, with Ryan Blaney taking runner-up honors and Daniel Suarez finishing third. Cole Custer and Ryan Reed were the highest-finishing Xfinity Series regulars, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Meanwhile, William Byron claimed the final $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus with a sixth-place finish. The other three drivers battling for the final program bonus of the year were Brennan Poole, Darrell Wallace Jr and Byron’s JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler. The four drivers qualified for the program — Byron and Poole with fourth and fifth-place finishes in the first 60-lap stage of the race, Wallace with a second-stage win and Sadler by running third at the end of stage two.
“Hopefully, we can keep building on this,” Byron said. “We got off cycle the last stop. I wish we could’ve gotten a win, but a hundred grand’s really good. Good top-six for us. Hopefully, we can get better next week. I think this is really something to build on.”
Larson and Blaney ran first and second through most of the first half of the race that included a Larson win of stage one. Larson got back up to the lead on lap 147, and a few laps later, Blaney retook second.
Larson started on the pole and led all but four laps until Blaney became the first driver to make a pass for the lead on lap 88. Those other four laps were led by Austin Dillon when Dillon opted to stay out during the yellow flag at the end of the opening stage.
Throughout most of the first stage of the race, the Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Suarez, Erik Jones and Matt Tifft also ran inside the top-five. Suarez and Tifft, though, both had to make unscheduled pit stops for tire problems just before the end of the opening stage. Jones remained near the front, but his day ended prematurely when an engine failure sent him to the garage around the halfway point of the race.
“It started vibrating really bad, and I had oil pressure and everything was fine, and then coming off of four, it just blew up completely,” Jones said. “It looked like an oil pump. I guess it just locked up.. It’s the first motor failure I’ve ever had with JGR or anybody. It’s unfortunate. We didn’t have the best car today, but I think the Reser’s Camry could of got up and ran in the top-three with a few more adjustments. It’s unfortunate, but can’t do anything about it.”
Wallace took the lead from Blaney on a lap 116 restart and led a handful of laps at the end of the second stage, but 10 drivers stayed out during the caution between the second and last stage of the race. After pitting, Wallace restarted 11th early in the third stage.
Ryan Reed and Suarez were the frontrunner among the 10 drivers who stayed out and when the race restarted, and when the race returned to green, Suarez took the lead. He ran up front until Larson and Blaney retook the familiar positions of the top-two in the running order.
The race was littered by 10 cautions, with most of those yellow flags coming in the first two stages. Once the green flag waved early in stage three, the yellow only waved one additional time, resulting in the final restart with 60 laps to go.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on June 3, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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