Austin Dillon gets narrow victory after dominating Xfinity Series race

Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
(Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images)

Contradictory as it seems, Austin Dillon dominated Saturday’s race in NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Series yet won the race by the skin of his teeth.

Dillon was sailing along in his No. 33 Chevrolet — he led 183 of the 200 laps in the Boyd Gaming 300 — until the closing stages of the race.

Ryan Blaney, whose crew had given his No. 22 Ford four fresh tires during a caution period with about 20 laps remaining, closed to Dillon’s bumper with only two laps to go.


Blaney then tried to find a way around Dillon for the lead, but Dillon kept throwing blocks to secure the win at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

At one point, Blaney nearly lost control of his car, and flirted with hitting the outside wall, as he tried to get past Dillon.

“It was a heck of a last two laps, that’s for sure,” said Dillon, who mainly drives in NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup Series for his grandfather’s team, Richard Childress Racing.

“The 22 put on a heck of a charge,” Dillon said. “To give one away like that, it would have been heartbreaking. In my mind, it wasn’t going to happen.”

Blaney said Dillon “did what he had to do and stopped my run. I couldn’t get to his outside [for the pass].”

Regan Smith finished third, and Denny Hamlin, driving the No. 54 Toyota for the injured Kyle Busch, finished fourth.

As Blaney was catching Dillon’s car, Dillon, 24, said his crew didn’t tell him that Blaney had been fitted with fresh tires. It was a decision Dillon supported.

The crew “made the right call by not telling me that because . . . it will get you out of your game,” Dillon said.

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