Ryan Preece wins Xfinity race at Bristol, $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Ryan Preece took the lead from Brandon Jones on a restart with 10 laps to go and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Preece also collected the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash in collecting his second career series win.

“I’m going to be paid off with everything that I risked last year,” Preece said of what he borrowed to run two Xfinity races last year with Joe Gibbs Racing before having another race added.

MORE: Race results and points report 

Preece took advantage of having four fresh tires to two fresh tires for Jones on the restart. Once Preece pulled into the lead, he was not caught.

Justin Allgaier finished second. Hemric was third and followed by Elliott Sadler and Spencer Gallgaher. Jones finished sixth.

Allgaier, Sadler and Gallagher will compete for the Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus next week at Richmond. Hemric was to have filled out the Dash 4 Cash field but his car failed inspection after the race – mechanical measurement NASCAR stated – and will be replaced by Brandon Jones.

Preece wasn’t eligible for next week’s Dash 4 Cash race because he’s not entered in the event.

Christopher Bell’s chances for the Dash 4 Cash ended after a hard hit just before the halfway point in the 300-lap race. Vinnie Miller and Cody Ware crashed, and Bell’s car went into a slide when he applied the brakes and slammed Miller’s car.

Stage 1 winner: Christopher Bell

Stage 2 winner: Ryan Preece

Who had a good race: Anybody who made it through with all the cautions. … Shane Lee was impressive in his Xfinity debut, driving for Richard Childress Racing. He was headed for a top-10 finish before he got into the wall with less than 20 laps left. Still, he had a strong run and performed well throughout the race. He placed 14th. … Justin Allgaier’s runner-up finish marked his fourth topthree finish in the last five races. … Elliott Sadler is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all seven races this season. … Ross Chastain finished ninth for his third top-10 finish of the year. He had two top 10s all last season. … Alex Labbe placed a career-best 11th.

Who had a bad race: Matt Tifft finished a season-worst 35th after he was involved in two incidents. It ended his streak of 15 consecutive top-20 finishes, dating to last season. … Kaz Grala was eliminated in an early crash and finished a season-worst 38th. … John Hunter Nemechek was running third when he had a tire go down and had to pit under green with 30 laps to go, ending his chances for a win. He finished 13th.

Notable: Spencer Gallagher, making his 47th series start, earned his first career top-five finish by placing fifth.

Quote of the day: “That’s the second time this weekend that I’ve crashed from guys going seconds off the pace. Can’t slow down whenever they spin out, and it’s frustrating,’’ Christopher Bell after being eliminated by a crash.

Next: The series races at Richmond at 7 p.m. ET on April 20.

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Ryan Blaney scores first Xfinity win of year at Texas Motor Speedway

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Ryan Blaney dominated to win the Xfinity Series race Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 132 of 200 laps to earn his first victory of the year.

Blaney led the final 46 laps to give Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford its third consecutive win, following victories by Brad Keselowski (ISM Raceway) and Joey Logano (Auto Club Speedway).

Blaney finished ahead of Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Ryan Preece.

It’s his first win at Texas after three runner-up finishes in his first five starts at the track.

“Our Mustang was amazing all weekend,” Blaney told Fox. “We got behind a little bit getting loose on that restart (with 15 laps to go in Stage 2). With the different strategies in the second stage there, we had to come from behind a little bit. The car was great. … It’s finally nice to win one here in Texas.”

The Team Penske driver started from the pole, which was his second in 66 starts, after a rain-shortened qualifying session.

Only 10 cars finished on the lead lap.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ryan Blaney

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brandon Jones won in a one-lap shootout for the first stage win of career.

MORE: Click here for results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAYSpencer Gallagher spun and made contact with the frontstretch wall on Lap 70. He bounced back to finish 10th. … Christopher Bell finished second after being sent to the back for an uncontrolled tire penalty midrace. … Austin Cindric placed ninth for his second top 10 of the season. … Daniel Hemric led a career-best 39 laps.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: There were three cautions in the first 17 laps due to spins by Jamie McMurray, Vinnie Miller and Chad Finchum. … Finchum brought out his second caution late on Lap 81 when he backed hard into the Turn 2 wall. He finished 34th. … Justin Allgaier finished 35th after dealing with mechanical problems. … Brandon Jones finished 33rd after wrecking during the first restart of the final stage. It is his first DNF of the season. … Kevin Harvick finished 19th, two laps down after pitting with 23 to go for a tire vibration.

NOTABLE: The temperature at the start of the race was 34 degrees, making it the coldest NASCAR race run at Texas Motor Speedway. … Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Ryan Preece qualified to compete in the first round of the Dash 4 Cash next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It could help me finish building a race car.” – Ryan Preece when asked what he would do with $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize money.

WHAT’S NEXT: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 1 p.m. ET on April 14 on Fox Sports 1.

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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JD Motorsports names Vinnie Miller to drive No. 01 Chevy in 2018 Xfinity Series

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JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced Tuesday that former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Vinnie Miller will drive the team’s No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro full-time in the 2018 Xfinity Series.

Miller, 20, is a native of Ortonville, Michigan, and began his racing career on local short tracks before moving up to both the K&N Series and ARCA Racing Series.

Miller made his Xfinity Series debut for JD Motorsports Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway, finishing 29th. He also made his Truck Series debut at Talladega on Oct. 14, finishing seventh for the Gaffney, South Carolina-based team.

Vinnie Miller to make Xfinity debut this weekend at Chicagoland

Photo courtesy Vinnie Miller Racing
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Up-and-coming NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA racer Vinnie Miller will make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend in the Chicagoland 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 20-year-old driver will drive the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller.

Miller has combined for one top-five, six top 10s and has led six laps in 10 races this season in both the K&N and ARCA series.

“It is a dream come true to be able to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” Miller said in a media release. “Chicagoland is a challenging track and I have a lot to learn this weekend. The goal is to finish the race and gain experience and respect from other drivers.”