No. 12 Menards/Knauff Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 22nd
Stage 2: 26th
Laps Completed: 95/95
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-206)
- Ryan Blaney started 15th and finished second after a wild Verizon 200 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Blaney had to survive multiple late-race incidents in order to bring home the runner-up finish. The Menards/Knauff crew continued to adjust on the No. 12 Mustang throughout the race, improving the handling of his car near the end of the event.
- In the opening laps of the race, Blaney reported the No. 12 Menards/Knauff Ford Mustang was losing rear-drive and was fighting tight and the team elected to pit prior to the end of Stage 1 for four tires and slight adjustments. As cars who remained on-track elected to pit at the stage break, Blaney cycled closer to the top-10 to end the stage.
- During the second stage, Blaney continued to struggle with a lack of rear drive, forcing him into a defensive mode while waiting to pit under green just prior to the conclusion of the second stage. In the final stage, Blaney worked to regain position near the top-10 as the field approached the potential final stop of the race. The team would call Blaney to pit road at lap 55 for four tires and air pressure changes, still looking to give the driver the desired drive-off.
- A late caution flag presented the opportunity for the Menards/Knauff crew to make further significant adjustments to the No. 12 Ford. Blaney moved into the top-five as a late race incident eliminated many of the top-five competitors. Blaney survived multiple late-race incidents to bring home a second-place finish.
Quote: “Our car looks better than most. That was a wild race, especially towards the end. I feel like we could have run 10th-12th all day and that is where we were. We just kind of got a couple good restarts and dodged some mess and we had a good shot to try to win the race. I just couldn’t put together a good enough lap and a half to get to Allmendinger to try to pass. We survived all day and did a good job. The whole team did a good job sticking in there. The race got pretty crazy at the end. We almost made it a perfect weekend for Team Penske, just missed it by one spot.”