No. 12 Menards/Cardell Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 24th
Race Finish: 5th
Stage 1 Finish: 16th
Stage 2 Finish: 20th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 2nd (-119)

Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney finished fifth in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, keeping his NASCAR Playoffs hopes alive.  Piloting the No. 12 Menards/Cardell Cabinetry Mustang, Blaney rolled off the grid 24th in the lineup, but was able to gain some track position early through the opening segment to finish Stage 1 in the 16th position, all while working to tame a Mustang that was tight in traffic. The Team Penske driver muscled through Stage 2, undergoing an extended pit stop to raise the front heights and perform a stagger adjustment. He ultimately finished Stage 2 in the 20th position on the scoring pylon. The Irish Hills saw a relatively calm Stage 3, with Blaney making his final stop of the day with under 50 laps to go. Receiving wedge and air-pressure adjustments to aid the handling, Blaney forged ahead to the top-five as the remaining laps clicked away, ultimately recording his eighth top-five finish of the season and keeping his spot at second in the season-long point standings.

Blaney’s Thoughts: “We ran 20th all day long and just struggled a lot and worked on it a ton and got a little bit better and better there and ended up with a decent finish out of it.  It was big gains from where we started. We just couldn’t really go anywhere and was stuck in 20th.  Jonathan worked on it a lot all day and props to him for getting it better and better throughout the day and having a car that could run fourth or fifth at the end of the day.  That’s something to be proud of.  We made some good out of it and proud of the progress we made.”

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