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Ryan Blaney wins Xfinity pole at Texas in rain-shortened qualifying

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Ryan Blaney qualified first for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway after a light rain shortened qualifying for the My Bariatric Solutions 300 to one round.

The pole is Blaney’s second in 66 Xfinity starts. It’s Team Penske’s 60th Xfinity pole and the first of this season.

Ryan Truex will start second. It’s his first front row start since winning the pole for the June 2012 race at Dover.

The starting top five is Blaney, Truex, Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed and Jamie McMurray.

Only 34 cars made a qualifying attempt in round one. Kevin Harvick, Daniel Hemric, Matt Tifft, Elliott Sadler and Kaz Grala were among the eight drivers who did not make it through inspection in time to make a lap.

Two drivers for underfunded teams who don’t normally qualify in the top 12 (though there was no final round) benefited from the absence of several contenders in qualifying.

JJ Yeley will start ninth and Jeremy Clements will start 12th.

The first round of qualifying was red flagged twice for rain and a third time for a Mike Harmon spin.

Harmon and Matt Mills failed to qualify.

Click here for qualifying results.

Joey Logano wins Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway

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Joey Logano led all but 11 laps on his way to winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

The Team Penske driver led the final eight laps to secure the victory in the Roseanne 300, the team’s first at the 2-mile track in the series.

Logano beat Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric.

“Total team effort there,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Great pit stops, great car, oh my gosh. It’s one of those races that you feel relieved when you win. … Man, you’re supposed to win when you have a car that fast.”

Logano led 139 of 150 laps. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 5. He didn’t relinquish it until he was the only leader to pit on Lap 122 during a debris caution.

He restarted 16th and was back in the lead within four laps.

Logano was the only one to pit because on the previous caution he was the only leader who stayed out. He managed to retain the lead.

“I did not opt to do that, (crew chief) Brian (Wilson) opted to do that,” Logano said. “It ended up working out. I thought we were going to lose more track position than we did. … Just shows how fast our car was.”

It’s the second consecutive win for Team Penske after Brad Keselowski won last week at ISM Raceway.

The win, Logano’s 29th, is his first in the Xfinity Series since the March 2017 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Joey Logano

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Austin Dillon finished fourth after starting 19th … Daniel Hemric finished fifth for his best finish of the season … Ross Chastain finished 10th for his ninth top 10 and just his third on a non-restrictor plate track.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Matt Mills brought out the first caution on Lap 33 after getting into the Turn 2 wall … John Hunter Nemechek lost his right front tire on Lap 70. It caused significant damage to his No. 42 Chevrolet. He finished 29th … Pole-sitter Christopher Bell spun on Lap 97 into the frontstretch grass … On Lap 104, Bell was involved in a crash with Michael Annett on the frontstretch when Annett came up the track and forced him into the wall. Bell finished 21st … After starting in the top 12, Kaz Grala wrecked coming to the checkered flag while racing with Ryan Truex and Brandon Jones. He finished 14th.

NOTABLE: Team Penske is now winless at three active tracks in the Xfinity Series … Joey Logano joins Jack Ingram as the second driver to finish in the top seven in his first 10 starts at a track (Ingram did it at three different tracks).

POST-RACE INSPECTION: Ryan Preece‘s No. 18 Toyota had one unsecured lug nut.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When you have a car that’s that strong and a driver that’s this good, sometimes he has to dig you out of some holes.” – Brian Wilson, crew chief for Joey Logano.

WHAT’S NEXT: My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on April 7 on Fox

 

Brad Keselowski wins DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway

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Brad Keselowski won the DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway, visiting Victory Lane in his first Xfinity Series start of the year.

The Team Penske driver led 67 of 200 laps to score his 37th Xfinity Series victory.

He beat pole-sitter Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray.

Keselowski put himself in position to win during green flag pit stops when he beat Bell off pit road with 32 laps to go. He then cycled through to the lead.

He bounced back from committing a speeding penalty on Lap 49.

“I felt like the car was better than me today,” Keselowski told Fox Sports 1. “Justin Allgaier quite honestly out drove me most of the day. At the end we connected it with great pit stops, great pit work and good strategy. Got out there on brand new tires and just barely got by Christopher there and I knew once we got by ourself the car would probably carry me a little bit.”

Allgaier, the defending winner of the race, led a race-high 76 laps.

The race began at 4:15 p.m. ET and was stopped twice for rain.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell earned his third consecutive top five … Jamie McMurray finished fifth in his first Xfinity start since 2013 … Kaz Grala led eight laps, the first laps of his career, and finished 12th … Elliott Sadler finished ninth after starting from the rear (engine change). He is the only driver to finish in the top 10 of all four races … Austin Cindric finished 16th. This was the first race in which he didn’t wreck while driving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: David Starr brought out the first caution on Lap 27 when his engine expired. He finished 39th … Matt Mills got into the Turn 2 wall, bringing out the caution on Lap 84. He finished 38th.

NOTABLE: There has been no repeat winner through four races … The race ended with a 104-lap stretch under green, the second longest to end a race at ISM.

POSTRACE INSPECTION: Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch each had one unsecured lug nut. The penalty for that is a fine.

WHAT’S NEXT: Auto Club 300 at Auto Club Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on March 17 on FS1.

Xfinity race in Phoenix resumes as Kyle Busch wins Stage 2

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The DC Solar 200 resumed from a second red flag period with a one-lap shootout to end Stage 2, won by Kyle Busch.

Busch beat out Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Truex.

The race was halted on Lap 87 of 200, three laps from the end of the stage

The red flag was issued during a caution for a Matt Mills‘ accident.

The first red flag period came after the end of Stage 1 and lasted for over one hour.

JD Motorsports completes Xfinity driver lineup with Garrett Smithley

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Garrett Smithley will return to JD Motorsports with Gary Keller for a third season, the Xfinity Series team announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old Smithley will again drive the No. 0 car.

He completes JD Motorsports’ driver roster for 2018. Smithley’s teammates will be Ross Chastain, Vinnie Miller and Matt Mills.

“I’m so excited to be back with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller this season,” Smithley said in a statement from the team. “We’ve had two very successful seasons together and to be given the opportunity to continue to build on that is something I do not take for granted.

“Each and every year JD Motorsports with Gary Keller grows and improves. This offseason has been an extremely strong one for this organization, and I knew that if the opportunity presented itself to return, I wouldn’t pass it up. I can’t thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunities they have given me and this entire team for all that they do. We’re a family, and we’re in this together. It will be awesome to work with Ross once again, as well as Vinnie and Matt this season.”

Smithley finished 21st in the points last season. He finished a season-best eighth in the season opener last year at Daytona International Speedway.

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