- Bad luck befell Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Menards/Tarkett Ford Mustang team early in the Fanshield 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Shortly after Blaney’s first and only pit stop, he was caught up in a three-car accident on lap 65 that ended High Point, N.C., native’s day. He would be credited with a 37th-place finish.
- Blaney rolled off fifth and fought a loose handling Menards Ford on entry and tight center. He would fall back to 10th as Stage 1 came close to its conclusion on lap 75. Blaney would make his only stop of the day under the first caution on lap 59, taking tires, fuel and a significant air pressure adjustment.
- When racing resumed on lap 64, Blaney who was running the high line in Turns 3 and 4 wasn’t able to avoid the sideways cars of Denny Hamlin and Penske teammate Brad Keselowski which sent him hard into the outside wall and ended his day.
- As a result, Blaney drops from the NASCAR Cup Series point lead to sixth in the standings.
Quote: “I thought we were going to roll the top pretty good through turns three and four. It looked like the No. 11 (Hamlin) tried to send it in there below the No. 2 (Keselowski), got loose, hit him then overcorrected and got us. We got up in the dirt and right into the fence. It sucks to have it end so early in the race. I hate it especially for Menards/Tarkett and Ford. We weren’t great the first run but we made a big swing at it and we don’t know how that change was. It stinks to get taken out like that but we’ll just go on to Atlanta and see what we can do.”