CONCORD, N.C. – Ryan Blaney had another fast car in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, unfortunately, an engine failure left the Team Penske driver with another disappointing finish.
During the early stages of the race, Blaney had the strongest car from the Team Penske fleet, however, while running inside the top-10, the High Point, N.C. native informed his No. 12 team that he was losing power during Stage 2.
Despite fading through the field – Blaney kept his No. 12 PPG Ford Fusion on the lead lap until his engine erupted on the frontstretch on Lap 279 ending his night with a 36th place finish.
“We had a cylinder let go maybe around lap 150 and we were just trying to limp it home,” explained Blaney. “When they go that early you don’t expect it to last all race, but it lasted a lot longer than I thought and then it finally let go into one there.
“That stinks. I thought we had a really good car. I would have liked to see how the race would have progressed for us, but we won’t see that anymore. “
The expiration of Blaney’s engine ignited a fireball that charred the paint of his race car, however, the former Cup Series winner said the fire looked worse than it was.
“It looks worse than what it is,” added Blaney. “It gets hot. You can’t see anything. That’s one of the biggest things is you can’t see where you’re going, but it looks a lot worse than what it is. The safety stuff keeps the fire away from us.”
With his second straight DNF (did not finish) in Sunday’s crown jewel event, Blaney returns to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway next week, site of his first career Cup Series victory last June driving for Wood Bros. Racing – hoping to turn his luck around.
“Hopefully, we can go out and have a good run at Pocono and then at Michigan,” he added.
In the last three races, Blaney has slipped from seventh to 11th in the championship standings but remains well above the cutoff line in 16th halfway through the regular season.