NEWTON, Iowa — Eighteen-year-old Ryan Blaney withstood a series of late-race restarts to become the youngest winner in the Camping World Truck Series, prevailing in Saturday night’s American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Making just his third Truck Series start, Blaney held off a final charge by Ty Dillon, who snared the points lead with a runner-up finish. The teen-ager, who drove a Brad Keselowski-owned truck to Ram’s first win in the series since 2008, celebrated in Victory Lane with his father, Sprint Cup series driver Dave Blaney.
American Ethanol 200
“This is pretty incredible,” Ryan Blaney said. “… It’s unbelievable. Hopefully, we can get us a few more here.”
Said Dave Blaney: “He does so good and catches on so quick. It’s fun to watch.”
The 20-year-old Dillon, who closed to finish 0.168 seconds behind Blaney at the checkered flag, lauded the winner’s poise in the frantic final stretch.
“I wanted it bad there at the end,” Dillon said. “We were coming, but Ryan Blaney, he’s an amazing driver. I’m glad we didn’t have to race against him all year this year. He’s a great guy, and he really deserves this.”
Todd Bodine, who also praised the younger Blaney as “a chip off the old block,” finished third, his first top-five finish since his victory June 1 at Dover International Speedway. Johnny Sauter and Cale Gale completed the top five.
Dillon started the night third in the standings but capitalized on rough nights by his closest rivals. Timothy Peters, who won the July race at Iowa, fell from the points lead after a crash on Lap 34. Peters squeezed Matt Crafton on the exit of Turn 4, forcing both trucks into the wall.
Peters remained on the lead lap despite several stops for repairs but faded further after a late stop to replace a faulty battery and cool an overheating engine. He salvaged a 19th-place finish, two laps down.
James Buescher was in line to snatch the points lead from Peters until his spin with six laps to go brought out the last of nine cautions. He finished 17th, one lap off the pace.
The standings shuffle put Dillon atop the heap by eight points over Peters, with Buescher 11 points behind Dillon.
First-time pole-sitter Parker Kligerman led 107 of 200 laps but was bitten by pit strategy that forced him to stop for service during the race’s longest green-flag stretch. Kligerman rallied to as high as fourth place before spinning with 21 laps left. He wound up 23rd, three laps down.
Ryan Blaney survived numerous restarts in Iowa to win in only his 3rd Truck Series start, becoming the youngest driver in truck series history to win a race.