Ryan Blaney held on with a tire rub while others lost their cool (and control of their cars) in the final moments of the Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway.
Ryan Blaney was smoking at the finish of Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway, which is not usually a good sign.
Battling a tire rub on the second two-lap overtime, Blaney still managed to hold off Regan Smith to pick up the Xfinity Series victory, his first NASCAR win of the season.
“It was bad in the car,” Blaney said in Victory Lane. “I was worried. Those last two laps (the car) wasn’t handling as good and it made me nervous.”
Smith said he noticed the damage on the left-rear of Blaney’s No. 22 Ford on the final restart and thought there could be a possibility to get around him.
“He did a nice job with it,” Smith said of Blaney. “It looked like his car got tight and I just didn’t have quite enough to get up to his fender to get a run on him.”
First win of 2015
It’s the third career win for Blaney’s in the Xfinity Series and his first since his victory last August at Bristol, Tenn. Blaney is running partial schedules this season in Trucks with Brad Keselowski Racing, Xfinity with Team Penske and Sprint Cup with the Wood Brothers.
On the team radio as he crossed the finish line, Blaney said he hoped this would make up for last weekend’s race at Indianapolis, when he lost the race on a last-lap pass to Kyle Busch.
“It doesn’t make up for it, but it sure helps forget about it,” Blaney said.
Brian Scott finished third, Ty Dillon was fourth and Brendan Gaughan was fifth.
Roush Fenway Racing teammates Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr. once again had a run-in on the track, which led to hard feelings on pit road after the race. Wallace could be seen confronting Buescher’s crew chief after the race. Ryan Reed also went over and angrily shoved Ross Chastain before exchanging words.
Buescher continues to lead the series points standings and holds a 20-point advantage over Chase Elliott. Dillon is one point behind Elliott.