Blaney Best at Bristol

Ryan Blaney

Blaney celebrates his second Nationwide win in his 24th series start. (Photo: Getty Images)

Race Results

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Ryan Blaney was trying to remain second.

Instead he won.

Blaney took the lead from Kyle Busch on a restart with six laps to go to win Friday night’s rain-delayed Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Blaney’s first act in Victory Lane, though, was to apologize for wrecking Kyle Larson late in the race before celebrating his second career Nationwide victory.

It appeared as if Busch would score his fourth consecutive victory at this track before the final restart.

“Honestly, I was just thinking of trying to stay in second there when we were restarting on the bottom inside of him,’’ Blaney said. “It happened so fast when we got the lead.”

Busch, who led 161 of the 300 laps, got a bad restart. He was upset about how Regan Smith got into the back of his car, lifting the rear tires and slowing Busch’s restart. That allowed Blaney, who was second to take the lead.

Busch, said he didn’t immediately take off when he entered the restart zone. As the leader he can choose when to go in that zone.

“I didn’t want to go and everybody behind me was trying to go,’’ Busch said. “I’m trying to wait for (Blaney) to stop so then I can go by the single red mark on the wall (the end of the restart). It’s stupid. NASCAR doesn’t police it, so everybody keeps jacking around on it. One of these I’m just going to lock all four down and stack the whole field up.’’

Asked how many laps he would have needed to have passed Blaney, Busch said: “I don’t know that I could. It’s a single-lane racetrack, you can’t ... pass here. It’s pathetic.’’      

Chase Elliott overcome early handling problems to finish third and has a 13-point lead on JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith heading into next weekend’s race at Atlanta. It was quite a finish for Elliott, who hit the wall about five laps in and struggled with his car’s handling early.

“I’m just happy we got to the end,’’ Elliott said. “There were a lot of opportunities where I thought our night was over.’’

Ty Dillon placed fourth and Smith was fifth in race delayed an hour by rain. Dillon and Smith had an animated discussion on pit road after the race.

“I’m racing for points,’’ Dillon said. “So, I’m trying to get all I can. I was driving as hard as I can. We’re trying to win this championship. I’m sorry that he’s upset, but it’s Bristol.’’

Others didn’t have it as well.

Elliott Sadler’s luck soured with about 120 laps to go when Timmy Hill crashed and came down the track. Sadler, who entered the race third in the points, couldn’t avoid Hill’s car and clipped it, damaging the right front of Sadler’s car. Sadler’s night got worse when he hit the wall about 40 laps later. He caused another caution before going behind the wall. Sadler finished 29th. He fell to fourth in the points. Dillon moved to third.

Blaney and Larson made contact as Blaney tried to get under Larson for fourth with 19 laps left. The contact caused Larson to spin down the backstretch and his teammate, Dylan Kwasniewski, clipped Larson’s car.

“I’m sorry,’’ Blaney said on the radio. “It just got loose as I was trying to slide him. It’s not like I meant to put him in the fence.’’

Said Larson, who finished 26th: “(Blaney) was faster than I was for sure. I thought he was going to chase me to the top. I know Ryan is a good kid. It’s frustrating. Ryan is a good driver, a good person. It will be all good.’’ 

Race Center

Alert Today Florida 300

@ Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Radio Start:
MRN
TV Start:
FOX Sports 1

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