Ryan Blaney wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) -- Ryan Blaney survived a flurry of late cautions to win the NASCAR Xfinity race Saturday night at Iowa Speedway for his first victory of the season.
The 21-year-old Blaney erased the sting of a disappointing runner-up finish last week in Indianapolis by maintaining his lead through a second green-white-checkered finish on the 0.894-mile oval.
Blaney led a track-record 252 laps, winning after finishing second three times in his other six Xfinity starts this season.
Regan Smith was second, followed by Brian Scott, Ty Dillon and Brendan Gaughan
Fifty-one-year-old Kenny Wallace, the career Xfinity starts leader with 547, finished 15th in the last race of his NASCAR career.
Blaney, whose miscue on the final lap last week in Indianapolis allowed Kyle Busch to slip past him for the win, cruised past pole-sitter Daniel Suarez on the opening lap.
The clean air helped Blaney take control for 75 laps - an Iowa record for green-flag laps.
If only the end was as easy as the beginning.
Blaney had to endure four restarts in the final 25 laps as championship contenders Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr. got involved in incidents.
Blaney and Gaughan rubbed on the first green-white-checkered finish, with Blaney holding off the No. 62.
Blaney suffered damage to a rear tire prior to the final restart, but he held on and crossed the finish line with smoke coming from his No. 22 car.
Suarez was sixth in his attempt to become the first Mexican-born driver to win in the series.
Elliott was ninth, Darrell Wallace 11th and points leader Buescher 13th.
Buescher lead over Elliott, last year's champion, dropped from 25 to 20 points.
Kenny Wallace won nine times in NASCAR's second-tier series, and he qualified a seventh in the powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 car.
But Wallace quickly fell back to the pack, and he got loose into the second turn with just 40 laps left.
Wallace finished his Xfinity career after 26 seasons with 10 poles and 173 top-10 finishes, good for seventh-most in the series.