- Ryan Blaney capped-off a strong weekend at ISM Raceway with a third-place finish in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500. Sporting the MoneyLion colors for the first time in the Cup Series, the High Point, N.C. native led a career-high 94 laps and claimed his best finish of the 2019 season.
- Blaney led the field to the green flag on Sunday afternoon after collecting his sixth career Cup Series pole and second at ISM Raceway. He led the opening 35 laps before relinquishing the lead to Kyle Busch on lap 36. Blaney reported to the MoneyLion crew that the balance of his Ford Mustang was a little loose on entry in Turn 3 and tight in Turns 1 and 2.
- During the first caution on lap 39, Blaney’s team made a four-tire change plus an air pressure adjustment. He ran inside the top-five until the second caution came out shortly after on lap 65. The No. 12 team chose to stay out under the yellow flag while the majority of field came to pit road. He restarted in the lead when the race went green on lap 70 and five laps later held off Aric Almirola to collect his second stage win of the 2019 season.
- During the caution following Stage 1, the MoneyLion crew made a track bar and air pressure adjustment to compensate for having to race in dirty air. Blaney restarted 16th but 10 laps later was back inside the top-10.
- Racing in traffic proved to be a challenge for Blaney. His No. 12 Ford Mustang was very tight on entry and loose on corner exit. He lost two positions late in the segment and was credited with an 11th-place finish. Blaney pitted under caution on lap 153, taking four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment – all in an effort to loosen up the handling of his Ford Mustang.
- Blaney continued his rally back to the front as the race entered the final stage. The adjustments brought his car back to life. His next visit to pit road came on lap 196 for four tires and continued fine-tuning the car with air pressure adjustments. Unfortunately Blaney had to make an extra pit stop a lap later for loose left-side lug nuts. The driver of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang restarted inside the top-20, but quickly made his way back into the top-10.
- Blaney made his final stop on lap 222 during the seventh caution of the afternoon. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins opted for a two-tire pit stop in an effort to gain back track positon. Blaney restarted third and grabbed the lead away from Almirola again on lap 252.
- As the laps ticked off, Blaney was racing both a fast-closing Kyle Busch and the challenge of having enough fuel to make it to the finish. Blaney did his best to manage the gap Busch, but unfortunately, Busch passed Blaney for the lead on lap 296. After losing the lead, Blaney went into full-fuel conservation mode. Martin Truex Jr. slipped by for second-place in the closing laps while Blaney coasted across the finish line in third position, his best his finish at ISM Raceway in six prior starts.
“We were on two tires and I just held on. When it got to 30 or 25 to go, I got tight and I couldn’t hit Turns 3 and 4 anymore. Then I ran up on lap traffic and it absolutely killed me. We were close on gas, so once I got passed I was in full fuel save mode. It was a good call to take two tires. I don’t think we would have got up to third on four tires because it was hard to pass. I’m proud of this MoneyLion team. That’s where we’ve been running all year, it just hasn’t been where we’ve been finishing.”