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NASCAR Xfinity: Ryan Blaney wins at Charlotte

Ryan Blaney celebrates his win of the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Ryan Blaney celebrates his win of the Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Ryan Blaney got by Kevin Harvick on a restart with three laps remaining in the 200-lap Hisense 4K TV 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and drove on to the win in Team Penske’s No. 12 part-time entry.
“I thought we were going to run out of laps to make it happen,” Blaney said. “We got a good restart, and I was barely able to stay on (Harvick’s) quarter (panel) off of (turn) two and dragged him back to (turn) three,” Blaney said. “I’m very proud, but you’re going to feel really bad if you mess up and don’t win. That’s what I thought was going to happen. I didn’t know if we were going to get our shot to get back to the lead.”
Harvick finished second, and Austin Dillon was third. The top-three finishers were the only three to lead double-digit laps, with Blaney leading a race-high 107 laps. Harvick led 58, and Dillon ran up front for 20.
“The 12 (Blaney) had the best car on the restart, getting going,” Harvick said. “He’s the one who helped us get the lead, and I knew I was gonna have my hands full, but he just beat me, there, at the end, and we wound up getting second.”
For Blaney and Dillon, their win and top-three finish came after starting from the back. Blaney qualified fourth but fell to the back for the start of the race after NASCAR didn’t like the way a portion of the wrap on his car had lifted from one of the car’s quarter panels. Dillon took the green flag next to pole sitter Justin Allgaier on the front row,  but was nabbed by NASCAR for jumping the start was black-flagged and sent to the back.
Harvick and Blaney won the first two stages of the race, with Harvick taking the lead from Allgaier on lap seven and running up front until the end of the first 45-lap stage. Dillon got off pit road during pit stops between the first two stages to restart with the lead early in stage two, but when the race returned to green, Blaney took the lead on lap 53. Blaney had worked his way up to fourth by the end of the opening stage.
Blaney’s Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, also started in the back because an issue in pre-qualifying inspection Saturday morning resulted in him not getting on-track for qualifying. By the end of stage one, Keselowski was ninth in the running order. He hovered around the back of the top-10 for most of the remainder of the race before finishing sixth.
After the yellow flag waved three times before the end of the opening stage and waved another six times once the third stage, consisting of 110 laps, got underway, the second stage ran caution free. And when Blaney took the lead when the field took the green flag for stage two, he led the entire stage.
Darrell Wallace Jr. got up to second early in the final stage and restarted next to Blaney on the front row after a lap 104 caution. Wallace took the lead on the restart that followed but on lap 112, Blaney was back up front.
Dillon led laps after getting off pit road first during a lap 159 caution, but after a rash of quick cautions, Harvick was in the lead for a restart with 14 laps to go. Blaney restarted third and got up to second on the restart to challenge Harvick for the lead for the remaining laps.
“It comes back to the patience thing,” Blaney said. “I just tried to keep a calm head. I was pretty upset at myself when I didn’t get into my box very well and didn’t angle out. We knew the 39 was gonna come it. It’s not his fault. He has to come in, and I just didn’t do a great job of getting angled out, and I was mad at myself for a second, but something nowadays is I forget things pretty easy, whereas I think in the past, when you’re younger, you dwell over them a lot more and just think about that. Now, you have to move forward and figure out, ‘Okay, how am I gonna get back to the front or at least the front row to give ourselves a shot?’ That was part of my plan of trying to work with Kevin. We were able to get a good restart and get to the front row and, then, eventually, the last restart, but our plan, my plan personally, went pretty good, surprisingly. Plans don’t really ever go your way. I think the second-to-last restart, when we were third and Kevin got the lead and we got to second, that worked out pretty well for us. I was surprised that went our way, and then, the last one I figured if we could at least slow him up a little bit off of (turn) two, we had him, but the middle of three and four was iffy on restarts, and if we had position just by a nose into (turn) three, I thought we could clear him, and fortunately, we were able to do that.”
Christopher Bell wound up taking a trip through the infield grass in an incident that brought out the first caution of the race on lap three of his Xfinity Series debut, but he recovered to finish fourth. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five after overcoming a slow pit stoop on lap 124.
Finishing seventh through 10th were Cole Custer, Brennan Poole, Brendan Gaughan and Tyler Reddick.
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 May 27, 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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