ThatsRacin

NASCAR: Regan Smith wins Hisense 200 Xfinity Series race at Dover

Regan Smith celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 200 at Dover International Speedway.
Regan Smith celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 200 at Dover International Speedway. Getty Images

Regan Smith led the final 80 laps Saturday and won the Hisense 200 Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway.

Smith, who made it to the finish line just before his car would have run out of gas, took the lead on Lap 119, after a restart.

Smith, whose future at JR Motorsports became unclear after the team signed Elliott Sadler for the 2016 season, passed Sadler to take the lead on Lap 119.

“They’re all big when you don’t know what your job status is for next year,” Smith said. “Everything is on the table for next year. I’m not going to worry about it too much right now.”

Sprint Cup regulars and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished second and third, respectively. Points leader Chris Buescher was eighth and leads Chase Elliott by 24 points.

Turning point

Smith took the lead shortly after a restart – caused by a wreck involving Cale Conley and Stanton Barrett – on Lap 119 and never trailed over the final 80 laps.

Three who mattered

Regan Smith: This win mattered in a big way for Smith, whose future at JR Motorsports became uncertain after this season when Sadler signed with the team earlier this week. Smith’s second victory of the season moves him into third place in the points standings, just 12 behind Elliott and 36 behind leader Chris Buescher.

Elliott Sadler: Was hoping rain that arrived with 85 laps remaining was permanent, which would have given him the victory. Instead, red flag lasted 31 minutes 15 seconds, and he quickly gave up the lead to Smith when the race restarted.

Chris Buescher: Finished eighth but maintains 24-point lead over Elliott. Buescher has been at the top of the standings for 28 consecutive races. His most recent victory came in Dover’s June race.

Observations

▪  Whether rain would allow this race to be completed was a real issue. After a shower hit the track during Lap 115, NASCAR’s Air Titan track driers took over and the delay lasted only 31 minutes.

▪  Busch led 110 laps – most of anybody – but couldn’t track down Smith while spending much of the latter portion of the race trying to pass Hamlin for second. But Busch finished third.

▪  Ty Dillon might remember this race if he doesn’t win the championship. His early wreck sent his car to the garage for several laps. He finished 28th, 85 laps down, dropping him from second to fourth in the standings.

They said it

“I can’t believe he’s out there doing a burnout.” – Smith crew chief Jason Burdett after the race, on how low Smith was on fuel.

Next race

Drive For The Cure 300

Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord.

When: 8 p.m., Friday.

TV: NBC Sports Network.

Radio: Performance Racing Network.

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