No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Race Finish: 15th
Stage 1 Finish: 34th
Stage 2 Finish: 34th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 7th (-27)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney finished 15th on Sunday afternoon in the delayed Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway driving the Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang. Utilizing the outside lane, Blaney drove from 15th to the front during the first 20 laps of the opening stage and was running third when a multi-car accident near the end of Stage 1 involved the playoff hopeful. Great work by the Advance Auto Parts crew kept the car just two laps down, and Blaney got the free pass to get back to one lap down at the start of Stage 2. However, the damage to the No. 12 was extensive and Blaney lost the draft, going multiple laps down during the second stage. The Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang rode around for the rest of the day, trying to avoid other’s accidents and gain positions and points. Other drivers’ misfortune allowed Blaney to gain the spots needed to lock up a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “It definitely didn’t start out very good. We had to battle through adversity all day, but props to the whole No. 12 group for continuing to work on it and fix it and just trying to keep it in the game. After that wreck everything was kind of out of our hands and we were just trying to do the best, we could to try and complete all the laps. You never know what can happen, so props to them. Fortunately, we were able to gain some points there at the end and locked us in. It was definitely nerve racking, but a lot of props to the No. 12 team.”