It came down to a late race restart in a caution filled Food City 300 on Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway and Ryan Blaney got past Kyle Busch with six laps to go to win. It was the 20-year-old Blaney's second career victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Busch finished in the second position with Chase Elliott coming home third and Ty Dillon finishing fourth. Finishing in the fifth position was Regan Smith. Brendan Gaughan finished in the sixth spot with Kevin Harvick finishing seventh and Erik Jones finished eighth. Finishing in the ninth spot was James Buescher with Chris Buescher finishing in the tenth spot.
There was about an hour delay before the start of the Food City 300 because of a heavy rain shower right before opening ceremonies. The race started with Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney on the front row and Busch came out front. Busch was out front when Chase Elliott hit the wall on lap four. Elliott would continue and with limited damage. On lap 41 Jeremy Clements hit the wall and had significant damage. he would soldier on but finish 10 laps down in 23rd. On lap 42 John Wes Townley spun and caused the races' first caution flag. On a lap 49 the race restarted with Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson on the front row. He would continue without much damage and finish the night two laps down in 18th. On lap 60 the races second caution flag occurred for a competition yellow to check tire wear after the rain.
The leaders would pit and Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott led the field to green on the lap 68 restart. From laps 68 to lap 93 Sadler and Elliott swapped the lead one time. There would be three caution flags during that period including a crash that included Chad Boat, Tanner Berryhill and David Starr on lap 111. Starr had been in the wall and Berryhill tired to slow up and Boat ran into the back of him. Berryhill then hit the inside wall and the spun back up and collected Boat which sent Boat spinning into Starr's car. Starr finished 31st, Berryhill 36th, and Boat 37th in the 40 car field. The leaders would pit after that and on the restart Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson led the field to green on the lap 115.
Busch led and pulled away from the field. As the race reached the halfway point on lap 150, Kyle Larson took the lead from Busch. Larson began to pull away from the field. He was leading on lap 182 when the races' sixth caution flag flew when Timmy Hill spun and crashed. Involved in that wreck would be Elliott Sadler, who clipped Hill's car. Sadler had significant damage on the right front of his car and would have to pit to make repairs. He was running fourth at the time of the accident.
The race restarted on lap 195and Larson and Busch led the field to green with Busch pulling away from Larson on the restart after he ran Larson up the track a bit which allowed Ty Dillon to get into second. Busch was leading when Elliott Sadler brought out the next two caution flags, on lap 233 and on lap 261. On the lap 261 caution Trevor Bayne caught a piece of Sadler's car severely hampering his chances at a good finish. Both times Sadler had a right-front tire go down to put him in the wall. Sadler finished in 29th.
Busch and Dillon were still in front on the lap 267 restart with Kyle Larson close by. As Larson and Ryan Blaney were battling for the fourth position on lap 280, Blaney got loose underneath Larson sending Larson's Chevrolet hard into the outside wall causing the races' ninth caution flag. Larson would spin twice doen the track and collect teammate Dylan Kwasniewski who was running in the back part of the top 10 all night. Both drivers had badly damaged racecars. Kwasniewski finished 25th and Larson 26th.
The race would restart on lap 287 with Busch and Dillon still on the front row. Dillon would get extremely loose on the restart and fall back and Busch began to pull away from the field. Dillon then made contact into Ryan Balney and had to gather his car. It looked like Kyle Busch's race to lose. However, the races' tenth and final caution flag flew on lap 289 when Jamie Dick spun. Dick would continue but finished five laps down in 21st.
The race restarted on lap 295 with Busch and Ryan Blaney on the front row. Busch would spin his tires then get hit from behind on the restart by Regan Smith and Blaney would get away from Busch into Turn 1. Blaney remained in front and sailed to his second career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.
Other cars finishing on the lead lap were Brian Scott in 11th and Jeffrey Earnhardt 12th. It's Earnhardt's best career NASCAR Nationwide Series finish. Trevor Bayne finished 13th, Ryan Reed in 14th, Cale Conley 15th, Ryan Sieg 16th, and Mike Bliss was the final lead lap car in 17th.
Chase Elliott extended his points lead to 13 points over teammate Regan Smith. Ty Dillon is third in the standings 30 points back with Elliott Sadler falling to fourth in the standings 42 points off of Elliott. Fifth in the standings is Brian Scott who is 51 points back. Trevor Bayne is sixth in the standings with Chris Buescher seventh in the standings. Eighth in points is Brendan Gaughan with Ryan Reed ninth and James Buescher rounds out the top ten.
The next race on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 30th.
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