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Ryan Blaney captures first Nationwide Series win

The SportsXchange

By Chris Knight, Special to the NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by The Sports Xchange

SPARTA, Ky. -- It wasn't a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor that the NASCAR Nationwide Series field had to worry about at Kentucky Speedway.

Instead, it was a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standout in Ryan Blaney who stole the show and won Saturday night's Kentucky 300.

Blaney's first career Nationwide Series win came in his 15th career start and just his second NNS start of 2013.

Blaney's triumph in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang marked Penske Racing's 10th win of the year with four different drivers. A.J. Allmendinger, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski collectively made up for nine of those victories.

The win didn't come easy for Blaney, a development driver for Penske Racing. Blaney was nearly collected by teammate and current points leader Sam Hornish Jr. on a restart with 15 laps to go.

As Hornish Jr. attempted to inherit the lead from Blaney, Hornish's Ford broke loose on the bottom of the track and immediately rolled up the race track, nearly colliding with Blaney.

While Hornish faded, Blaney kept his foot on the gas and kept Austin Dillon in his rearview mirror until the caution flag waved one lap later when Parker Kligerman pounded the frontstretch wall after contact with Cole Whitt.

Dillon, Hornish's rival for the Nationwide championship, finished second, ahead of Richard Childress Racing teammate Matt Crafton in third. Hornish Jr. rebounded for fourth, while Alex Bowman in the RAB Racing entry posted his first top-five run since the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February.

While Blaney has led only 65 laps in his full-time campaign on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tour, he led a race-high 96 laps tonight. Blaney last competed on the circuit in June at Iowa Speedway, where he finished ninth after starting sixth.

With six races remaining on the tour, Hornish Jr. leads Dillon by 15 points.

Next up for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is its annual fall trip back to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the running of the OneMain Financial 200 on September 28.
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