NASCAR & Auto Racing

Austin Dillon holds off Ryan Blaney for Xfinity win at Las Vegas

Austin Dillon emerges triumphant from his car after a celebratory burnout after winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon emerges triumphant from his car after a celebratory burnout after winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. GETTY

Ryan Blaney hit everything on the final lap except the race leader, which left Austin Dillon in Victory Lane.

Blaney could not get around Dillon for a clean pass and twice nearly wrecked himself as Dillon captured the win in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The win is third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Dillon, who won the series championship in 2013.

Regan Smith finished third, Denny Hamlin was fourth and Chase Elliott fifth.

Turning point

Blaney came down pit road late in the race for new tires, and the fresh rubber allowed him to run down Dillon over the final five laps and put him in position to attempt a pass for the lead, which still came up short.

Three who mattered

Austin Dillon: You wouldn’t know it by the last two laps, but Dillon spent the vast majority of the race completely dominating the competition. At one point, only seven cars were on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney: His rocket-like ascension to the front surprised even Dillon, who asked over his team radio where Blaney came from.

Erik Jones: Jones was substituting for the injured Kyle Busch, and like Busch at Daytona, Jones wrecked and slammed into a wall unprotected by energy-absorbing SAFER barrier. He was unhurt.

Observations

▪ Three weekends of official NASCAR racing so far this season and we’ve now seen three hard wrecks by drivers into unprotected walls. Whatever the reasons this problem cannot be addressed immediately need to be addressed now.

▪ It was the highest of highs and lowest of lows for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon won the race and teammate and title contender Brian Scott developed engine problems and was forced to the garage shortly after the race began.

▪ Saturday’s race provided another look at the budding young talent NASCAR has coming through the ranks, including Darrell Wallace Jr., Blaney, Jones and Elliott.

They said it

“When you have something like this, you just don’t want to mess it up.” – Austin Dillon, race winner

Next race

Axalta 200

Where: Phoenix International Raceway; Avondale, Ariz.

When: 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Fox.

N@SCAR

Three tweets from Saturday’s race:

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