BLANEY SAVES IT UNTIL THE END – FINISHES THIRD

 

  • Ryan Blaney capped off a strong night with a third-place finish in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang. This was the High Point, NC native’s best finish in eight prior starts at the 1.5-mile oval as well as his first top-10 finish since the Daytona 500 in February.
  • Blaney started 26th and within the first 10 laps of the event, he worked his way into the top-20. After being blocked in on his first pit stop on lap 23, Blaney was running 26th before a rain delay halted the event for just over an hour. Once racing resumed the DEX Imaging Ford marched forward scoring a 12th-place finish in Stage 1.
  • Blaney began Stage 2 from the 11th position. He eventually worked his way into the top-10 by lap 150. Blaney reported improvements in the car from Stage 1 but he needed a little more front turn. He brought the DEX Imaging Ford Mustang to pit road on lap 154 for routine service and an air pressure adjustment. Blaney maintained the ninth position when the stage came to its conclusion on lap 200.
  • After beginning Stage 3 in the eighth position, Blaney pitted for routine service and a wedge adjustment on lap 25. He drove in fifth position for most of the stage before stopping under caution on lap 277 for right-side tires. The move allowed him to bring home a third-place finish in Stage 2 and valuable stage points in the process.
  • Following a tough pit stop, Blaney restarted the final stage of NASCAR’s longest race from the 10th position. With the balance on the No. 12 Mustang going to the free side, Blaney raced his way to seventh by lap 360 and sixth by lap 390. A caution on lap 399 saw crew chief Todd Gordon keep Blaney on track for a green/white/checkered flag finish. He restarted fourth and make his way up to third before he was passed by Chase Elliott, racing with fresh tires, on the last lap as Blaney crossed the finish line in fourth place.
  • Blaney is now seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 79 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.

Quote: “We started towards the back and gained a lot of spots in the beginning, but we got boxed in on the first stop and lost all those spots we gained. I thought we were in a good spot on the restart with 45 or 48 to go and somebody got loose on the bottom into three and we had to go all the way up to the wall to miss him in the middle of three and four. We lost a lot of spots right there and that really hurt us. That lost us all the track position we gained towards the end. We restarted sixth or maybe even eighth on the top and I thought we were going to roll, but that dropped us back to maybe 12th and we had to fight back from there. I thought our DEX Imaging Ford was competitive, probably not the best car out there, but a top-five car all night. It was a good call to stay out there at the end. We restarted fourth and gave us a chance. We would have come home with a decent day, but we passed a lot of cars and definitely had a long night working on it.”

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