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NASCAR Xfinity: Ryan Preece wins in Bristol

BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 14: Ryan Preece, driver of the #18 Rheem Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 14, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Ryan Preece was a winner twice over at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway on Satruday when he took the checkered flag in the Fitzgeral Glider Kits 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. He claimed his second-career series win, and it doing so, became the first Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus winner of 2018. That D4C win would’ve made him eligible to race for the second bonus next weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, but he’s not on the entry list for that race.

“First off, this Rheem Toyota TRD Camry JGR car was awesome,” Preece said. “These guys right here, they work hard, and they don’t get on TV, and I want you all to focus in on them and this guy (Eric Phillips, crew chief). I have to thank everybody last year for helping me make this all possible. Without last year, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. I wouldn’t be sitting here in Bristol victory lane in an Xfinity Series car with Joe Gibbs Racing. To win here, it’s unreal.”

Finishing second through fifth behind winner Preece were Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Elliott Sadler and Spencer Gallagher, making themselves eligible for the Richmond bonus, at least at first. Hemric’s No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, though, failed post-race inspection, so his opportunity to go for the next Dash 4 Cash bonus was stripped. As a result, Brandon Jones will be the fourth driver eligible for the bonus at Richmond.

Jones matched his career-best finish of sixth at Bristol after leading a race-high 106 of the 300 laps that made up the race.

Preece also was the winner of the second stage of the race that ended on lap 170, but he restarted for the final 130-lap stage of the race in fifth after Chase Briscoe and a couple other drivers stayed out on the race track during caution, and Austin Cindric beat Preece out of the pits.

Jones looked to be on his way to his first-career series win after taking the lead from Briscoe before a lap 187 caution. Jones held off Preece for several laps after the restart and maintained his lead through the longest green-flag run of the race before taking only two tires during a caution with 17 laps remaining.

“We had to take the two tires to try to see what we could do,” Jones said. “Just too much wheel-spinning on the restart to make anything of it.”

When the race restarted, Preece and several other drivers with four tires were able to get by Preece in the closing laps.

Aside from Jones and Preece, who led 39 laps, Allgaier, Bell and Hemric were the other drivers to lead significant laps. Allgaier led the first 47 laps after taking the top spot from pole sitter Cole Custer on the opening lap. In route to his runner-up finish, Allgaier had to race from back to front multiple times as a result of being involved in two cautions on lap 58 and lap 101. Bell, the winner of the first 70-lap stage, wound up 29th, retired from the race early, after getting collected in a multi-car crash on lap 141. That caution, the seventh of the race, led to a seven-minute red flag for track cleanup.

“That’s the second time this weekend that I’ve crashed from guys going seconds off the pace,” Bell said. “Can’t slow down whenever they spin out, and it’s frustrating. We had a really fast GameStop Camry, and I don’t know, just trying to get the top in pretty much all race long. That was our worst run of the day, handling wise, and we were still up there. Unfortunate.”

Saturday’s race was attrition-filled ending under caution, the 12th caution of the race.

Other top-10 finishers included Tyler Reddick in seventh, Custer in eighth, Ross Chastain in ninth and Ryan Truex in 10th.

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Posted by on April 15, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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