Ryan Blaney left little doubt in this one.
Blaney took command of Saturday’s Drive Sober 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in Stage 2 and never looked back, earning a dominating victory, finishing almost five seconds ahead of Justin Allgaier.
The win his second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season and sixth of his career.
“Great job, guys,” Blaney said to his team after taking the checkered flag. “What a car. That was awesome. I don’t know what else to say.”
Pole-winner William Byron finished third, Daniel Hemric was fourth and Brennan Poole completed the top-five.
Blaney led every green flag lap to take the Stage 2 victory, remained in lead after pit stops prior to the start of Stage 3 and never relented.
“I wanted thank everybody for sticking around. It’s really cool to see all these fans out here on this beautiful day,” Blaney said. “What a (car) we had. It was awesome.
“It was pretty neat to finish one off here. We’ve been really close with the (Team Penske) No. 22 team this year. I can’t say enough about this team – we’ve finished second I can’t even count how many times.”
Allgaier was the highest finisher among the 12 Xfinity playoff drivers and leads the series standings heading into next weekend’s Round 1 cut-off race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Blaney took the lead on pit stops between stages and ran away with the Stage 2 victory, holding off Byron by almost three seconds.
Allgaier finished third, Daniel Suarez was fourth and Elliott Sadler completed the top-five.
After a round of pit stops, Blaney maintained the lead going into Stage 3 followed by Byron, Suarez, Allgaier and Sadler.
Matt Tifft, who started from the rear of the field because of a tire change after qualifying and was involved in an early-race incident on the track, rallied back to finish 11th in the second stage.
Byron dominated the first 60-lap segment – leading every lap – and easily held off Blaney to take the Stage 1 victory.
“We were a little bit tight but overall the car has been good all weekend,” Byron said during the break. “We’ve started to put our plan together for the next few races and so far we’re off to a good start.”
Suarez finished third, Allgaier was fourth and Erik Jones completed the top-five.
After a round of pit stops, Blaney was the first off pit road and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 68, followed by Byron and Suarez.
On Lap 7, Brandon Jones got loose and spun and was eventually hit by Jeff Green, which brought out the race’s first caution. David Starr also hit the inside wall during the same incident. The race restarted on Lap 14 with Byron in the lead.
On Lap 19, a caution was displayed after Harrison Rhodes appeared to lose an engine and his No. 01 Chevrolet was enveloped in a cloud of smoke. The race restarted on Lap 23 with Byron leading.
Shortly after the restart, Chad Finchum got into the back of Ryan Sieg and then slammed the wall to bring out the third caution. The race restarted on Lap 30.
|14||39||Ryan Sieg||Chevrolet||199||1 lap|
|15||24||Corey Lajoie||Toyota||199||1 lap|
|16||16||Ryan Reed||Ford||198||2 laps|
|17||14||J.J. Yeley||Toyota||198||2 laps|
|18||98||Casey Mears||Ford||198||2 laps|
|19||11||Blake Koch||Chevrolet||198||2 laps|
|20||20||Erik Jones||Toyota||198||2 laps|
|21||07||Ray Black Jr.||Chevrolet||198||2 laps|
|22||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||198||2 laps|
|23||2||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet||198||2 laps|
|24||23||Spencer Gallagher||Chevrolet||198||2 laps|
|25||90||Brandon Brown||Chevrolet||197||3 laps|
|26||42||Tyler Reddick||Chevrolet||197||3 laps|
|27||8||B.J. McLeod||Chevrolet||194||6 laps|
|28||52||Joey Gase||Chevrolet||194||6 laps|
|29||0||Garrett Smithley||Chevrolet||194||6 laps|
|30||78||Josh Bilicki||Chevrolet||192||8 laps|
|31||74||Mike Harmon||Dodge||87||113 laps|
|32||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||43||157 laps|
|33||13||Carl Long||Toyota||35||165 laps|
|34||38||Gray Gaulding||Chevrolet||31||169 laps|
|35||15||Reed Sorenson||Chevrolet||25||175 laps|
|36||40||Chad Finchum||Chevrolet||25||175 laps|
|37||01||Harrison Rhodes||Chevrolet||17||183 laps|
|38||99||David Starr||Chevrolet||7||193 laps|
|39||33||Brandon Jones||Chevrolet||4||196 laps|
|40||93||Jeff Green||Chevrolet||5||196 laps|