Kentucky Speedway Winners
Blaney Blasts His Way
to First NASCAR Nationwide
Victory at Kentucky Speedway
ARCA Racing’s LaJoie wins ZLOPP 150
SPARTA, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2013) – Ryan Blaney's first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory on Saturday, Sept. 21, marked the second this season for the Penske Racing No. 22 Ford at the Kentucky Speedway.
Photo courtesy of Harold Hinson Photography
Ryan Blaney's first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory
on Saturday, Sept. 21, marked
the second this season for the
Penske Racing No. 22 Ford at
the Kentucky Speedway.
The 19-year-old became the second-youngest NNS 300-mile race winner in track history after leading 96 of 200 laps, including the final 89, surviving four caution restarts during the closing 50 laps. The race saw nine caution periods consume 44 laps of action.
"I'm kind of speechless right now, but it's just awesome to be able to do this. I wish my dad was here, but I've got the rest of my family here, so it's pretty cool," Blaney said.
Blaney, whose NASCAR racing veteran father Dave was in Louden, N.H., preparing for the Sept. 22 Sprint Cup Series event, gained the race lead as positions cycled under caution on Lap 112.
He said his car's performance on restarts made the difference tonight.
"It's tough. It's really tough to hold on to the lead, even if you're on the outside (line). You really have to keep the guy pinned down there, and there were a couple hairy situations on the restarts, but everyone here at Penske Racing has done an awesome job giving me this great Discount Tire Ford. We're the fourth different driver to win in this car. That's really cool, and just goes to show how good this team is," Blaney said of a team, which has earned 10 NNS victories this season.
Austin Dillon, who led 32 laps in the middle of the race before scoring his third top-five and fourth top-10 finish in four starts in the Bluegrass State, took second after guiding his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing ride beneath the checkered flag 2.018 seconds behind Blaney's machine.
Dillon described his attempts to overtake Blaney on the late-race restarts.
"I tried to get through there as clean as I could, but his car was just really good. They've been great all year. It's been fun racing against them, and it's tough to beat them.
"But, we're working hard, and getting closer and closer and I think we're going to knock one down soon for sure if we run like that.
"The restarts were good. Everything was good – there was just one car better than us," Dillon said.
Matt Crafton captured third place and was followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Alex Bowman in the race top five.
Corey LaJoie takes off
at Kentucky, wins ZLOOP 150
Corey LaJoie grabbed the lead with 33 laps to go in the ARCA Racing’s ZLOOP 150 on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Kentucky Speedway and took his No. 17 Medallion Financial Ford into victory lane for the third time this season.
"We've had really good set ups for these cars lately, but, for Iowa, for some reason, our car was off," LaJoie said. "We went back to the drawing board after Iowa and put together what we thought would be good at Kentucky, and it ended up being really good. It was a great day."
Photo courtesy of Harold Hinson Photography
won ARCA Racing’s
ZLOOP 150 earlier
in the day after
grabbing the lead
with 33 laps to go.
LaJoie, a Richard Petty Motorsports Development Driver, won at Chicagoland Speedway in July and Pocono Raceway in August. In the Roulo Brothers Racing No. 17, LaJoie led the most laps in the ZLOOP 150, which was held Saturday after being rained out on Friday, Sept. 20. LaJoie led 40 of 100 laps.
"It's been a special year because of our consistency," Kimmel said.
Mason Mitchell finished second in the Happy Cheeks Ford, Spencer Gallagher third in the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, Grant Enfinger fourth in the Motor Honey-Casite-Advance-Ford and Chad Boat fifth in the SteppingOut4Hope.com Toyota.
Mitchell had his best career finish. He led 20 laps despite having to start back in 21st.
"In practice yesterday, we struggled a lot," Mitchell said. "But, everybody did a great job in the shop this week and we had a really good car."
Gallagher scored his fifth top five of the season.
"We made a lot of changes after practice yesterday. We kind of went out there sight unseen," Gallagher said. "We were very, very fast at the beginning of the race. It was a good day for the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet."
Frank Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, finished ninth, his 20th top 10 of the year. He will take a 315-point lead in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship point standings. All Kimmel has to do is make an attempt to qualify for the Kansas Lottery 98.9 on Oct. 4 and he will clinch his 10th all-time series championship.
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