Kentucky crowns Blaney king with first win

After leading 96 laps and owning Saturday night, Ryan Blaney won the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway. The nineteen-year-old placed the No. 22 Penske Ford in Victory Lane, marking his first win in NNS.

“I’m kind of speechless right now . . .” the driver stated in his post-race interview, the win not settled in.

Blaney, who’s currently competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Brad Keselowski Racing, never fell out of the top six all night. He is now the fifth first-time winner in the second-tier series, helping the No. 22 car garner its tenth win of 2013.

His Penske teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., finished fourth. The points lead belonged to him coming into Kentucky with a seventeen-point cushion. Austin Dillon, his closest rival for the championship, brought his car home second. He only gained two points on Hornish, creeping a bit closer.

Other notable stories are abundant, due to the lack of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars in the field: Jeb Burton locked a top ten in his first NNS race . . . Johanna Long, a drive who usually gets stuck in the mid-twenties, finished sixteenth . . . Trevor Bayne earned the fifteenth spot after his motorcoach caught fire on the way to the track . . . Travis Pastrana started in the top ten yet spun twice, proving that his bad luck still lingers . . . Kyle Larson encountered brake issues and finished outside the top thirty.

Points after Kentucky

1. Sam Hornish Jr. (–)
2. Austin Dillon (-15)
3. Regan Smith (-45)
4. Elliott Sadler (-54)
5. Brian Vickers (-60)
6. Justin Allgaier (-75)
7. Brian Scott (-79)
8. Trevor Bayne (-94)
9. Kyle Larson (-140)
10. Parker Kligerman (-179)

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