- Pit road strategy and a fast car resulted in a third-place finish for Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 PPG Ford Mustang team at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Blaney captured his fifth top-five and his sixth top-10 finish of the season.
- Blaney started the 90-lap race from the ninth position. He maintained his running position inside the top-10 for most of the first stage and reported to crew chief Jeremy Bullins the balance of the No. 12 PPG Mustang was tighter turning to the left than right. Playing a different strategy, Bullins pitted Blaney on lap 17, three laps before the end of the first stage for four tires, fuel and minor adjustments including air pressure. Blaney would return to the track in the 21st position where he would remain at the end of stage 1.
- Blaney remained on track during the stage caution and cycled to the fourth position for the beginning of the second stage. Blaney powered his way to the third position once the race resumed but fell to fourth over the long run. Bullins called the driver of the No. 12 PPG Ford down pit road under green on lap 37, once again three laps before the end of stage 2. Blaney would rejoin the field in 15th position and was credited with 15th place at the end the second stage on lap 40.
- The High Point, N.C. native remained on track during the second stage caution and again cycled to the fourth position when the race resumed on lap 44. Blaney muscled his way to the second position on the restart before settling into fourth on lap 47. Blaney communicated his No. 12 PPG Mustang was still tight on the long run. Once the fuel window opened with 34-laps remaining in the 90-lap race, teams began to make their last scheduled green-flag stop. Bullins elected Blaney to run long and pit on lap 64 for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
- Blaney would return to the race in the sixth position. Once the field cycled through stops, Blaney was running in the third position, pulling away from fourth-place Kevin Harvick. The remaining 20 laps were caution free, Blaney holding firm to position. He would remain in the third position at the checkered flag. He and the No. 12 PPG team remain ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 175 points behind leader Joey Logano.
Quote: “You come into every weekend expecting to run well, no matter if it is your best track or worst track. I don’t really go into any weekend expecting to run a certain way. You just try to do your best. You just do the best you can during practice to get your car where it needs to be in the race. I thought we had pretty good speed all weekend. We head top-five speed all weekend. Not winning speed. We kind of hung around all day. We were able to hang in there and stay out of trouble and able to come home with a decent day and a race car that was intact, which is good.”