- Early race misfortune hit Ryan Blaney at the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil team during Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Blaney fought all-day to regain lost track position after an unscheduled pit stop on lap 50, but a lack of cautions hindered his ability to regain a lead lap position.
- Blaney started 13th and quickly began picking off spots towards the front in stage 1. He reported to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that the balance of his Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang was loose throughout the turns. Blaney came to pit road for his first round of service on lap 45 for 4 tires, fuel and a major air pressure adjustment.
- Shortly after returning to the track, Blaney radioed to his crew he had a tire going down. He returned to pit road on lap 50 and the crew changed all four tires again. After careful inspection the team and Goodyear engineers discovered the valve stem had been knocked off the left rear wheel. Blaney would return to the track and subsequently finish 30th in stage 1.
- The No. 12 opted to take the waive-around under the stage 1 break, putting the Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang on the tail end of one lap down. He fought hard to remain on the tail of one lap down and in the process passed additional cars one or more laps down. Blaney would fight a tight race car at the end and would finish 28th in stage 2.
- Under the stage 2 break, Blaney pitted with for 4 tires, fuel and an another major air pressure adjustment. He would be in the free pass position for much of the final stage, but the lack cautions did allow the No. 12 team to cash in on the free pass back on the lead lap. The team would opt to run long on the second-to-last run of the race, but came to pit road on lap 226 for their final round of service. When the checkered flag waived, Blaney crossed the line in 22nd place.
“A really frustrating day for our Menards/Pennzoil team. We had a really good car but just couldn’t overcome the unscheduled pit stop early in the race. I hope this is the end of our bad luck and we have a good run next week in Phoenix.”