Larson dominates Dover, earns third XFINITY win of 2017
By Tyler Head
June 3, 2017
DOVER, Del.—Kyle Larson led the most laps en route to his eighth career NASCAR XFINITY Series win in the OneMain Financial 200 Saturday at the Dover International Speedway.
Larson started on the pole and piloted the No. 42 Parker Store Chevrolet to a stage one victory on his way towards victory at the Monster Mile, edging out Ryan Blaney in the No. 22 Fitzgerald Ford.
Larson fell to fifth after 120 laps, the conclusion of the second stage, but took command of the race for good when he took the lead from Daniel Suarez with 53 laps to go.
When the checkered flag dropped, Larson had paced 137 of the race’s 200 laps.
“Our cars have been really good on both sides, (Monster Energy NASCAR) Cup and XFINITY,” Larson said. “Especially XFINITY, we’ve been extremely good.
“I get all the credit but it’s everyone at the shop that deserves all the credit,” Larson added.
The win is Larson’s third in the XFINITY Series in 2017 and his first at the Monster Mile. Blaney finished second; Suarez, rookie Cole Custer and Ryan Reed rounded out the top five.
Blaney a bridesmaid in the Team Penske No. 22, again
While Larson spent the most time out front, he had stiff competition from Blaney throughout the afternoon.
As previously mentioned, Blaney came within a nose of winning the race’s first stage. Midway through the second stage, Blaney shot past Larson to take over the lead.
Blaney held the top spot for 28 laps, but was forced to settle for second once again in stage two after losing the lead to Darrell Wallace Jr. on a restart.
Pit strategy jumbled the running order for the beginning of the third stage, forcing Blaney to rally from behind. Blaney came up short of doing that, finishing 1.173 seconds behind Larson.
The second place finish is Blaney’s fourth while piloting the Penske Racing No. 22 in 2017. After the race, Blaney expressed frustration over settling for the runner-up position once again, but said he’s encouraged by the performance of the Team Penske crew.
“Obviously, we want to be winning races but you have to put the work in to get there,” he said. “They’ve definitely done that. Just a little bit more is what we need.”
Byron takes home $100k
In the fourth and final XFINITY Dash 4 Cash race of the 2017 season, rookie William Byron took home the big $100,000 check with a sixth place finish.
“I wish we could’ve gotten a win, but a hundred grand’s really good,” Byron said. “Good top-six for us. Hopefully we can get better next week. I think this is really something to build on.”
The finish broke a streak of four consecutive races without a top-10 finish for the 19-year-old. Byron now has six top-10 finishes in 2017.
Elliott Sadler finished seventh Saturday, allowing him to add to his series lead over teammate Justin Allgaier, who finished 11th.
Sadler now leads the championship standings by 12 points over Allgaier after 11 races. Byron, another JR Motorsports teammate of Sadler’s, remains third in the standings, 57 points behind.
Wallace, who finished eighth Saturday, is 84 points behind Sadler in fourth. Wallace picked up his first playoff point of the season with a win in stage two and in doing so was the only driver to earn a playoff point at Dover.
Daniel Hemric rounds out the top five in the standings, 92 points behind the leader.
Next up for the XFINITY Series: The Pocono Green 250 at the Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 10. IMAGES Tyler Head/The Racing Experts