Ryan Blaney only led seven of the 300 laps that made up the Food City 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway on Friday night, but they were the final seven, as he took the lead from Kyle Busch on the final restart and was able to hold off the series' all-time winningest driver for his second-career Nationwide Series win and his first of the season.
"I felt like if I could get to the top and be consistent, it would be hard for him (Busch) to pass us," Blaney said.
After leading a race-high 161 laps, Kyle Busch finished second.
"I can't go when my rear tires aren't on the ground," Busch said of the final restart.
Chase Elliott restarted behind Busch with a handful of laps remaining. He went on to finish third. Ty Dillon was fourth and Regan Smith finished fifth. After the race, Smith confronted Dillon about how he was raced in the closing laps.
"I squeezed him a couple of times, I guess. I'm racing for points," Dillon said afterward. "I'm sorry he's upset, but this is Bristol."
After the start of the race was delayed about an hour because of rain, Busch started on the pole with Blaney alongside in second. Busch ran up front until a competition caution on lap 60 during which Elliott Sadler and Elliott took only two tires to gain track position and restart up front. After taking four tires and fuel, Busch restarted seventh.
Sadler was able to remain up front until Elliott took the lead on a restart that followed a lap 84 caution. From there, Elliott and Sadler continued to run first and second, until Kyle Larson took over the second spot after a caution that came out around lap 110.
Larson took the lead at the halfway point, while Busch moved into second. Busch retook the lead soon after a lap 183 caution, and Larson lost a couple more positions before being caught up in a wreck that also involved Blaney and Dylan Kwasniewski.
"First of all, I have to apologize to Kyle Larson," Blaney said. "I didn't mean to get into him there."
When the race restarted with 13 laps to go, Busch was up front with Dillon in second. But soon after the race restarted, Dillon's car got out of shape and Blaney took over the second spot.
Brendan Gaughan finished sixth, Kevin Harvick seventh, Erik Jones eighth, James Buescher ninth and Chris Buescher rounded out the top-10.