No. 12 DEX Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 4th
Laps Completed: 109/109
Laps Led: 10
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-41)
- Ryan Blaney had a solid, uneventful day and finished ninth on Sunday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, allowing he and the No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang to move onto the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs.
- After starting sixth, Blaney maintained a position inside the top-five, taking the lead from teammate Joey Logano on the restart following the lap 10 competition caution. Blaney maintained a position inside the top-five, finishing third in the first stage and collecting eight stage points in the process. On the first pit stop, crew chief Todd Gordon made air pressure adjustments to the DEX Imaging Mustang looking to give Blaney additional grip. Blaney led nine laps in the opening stage.
- During the second stage, Blaney radioed the team that he was struggling with left-rear drive while continuing to pass cars who’d opted for a different strategy in the opening stage, working his way back towards the front and additional stage points. Blaney remained on the track as the laps expired in Stage 2, moving into the top-five to collect another seven more points with his fourth-place finish.
- Blaney continued his forward march and back into the top-10, reaching the seventh position by lap 70, prior to the pit window opening for teams to make their potential final stop. Blaney hit pit road at lap 77 with many of the other playoff competitors, electing to utilize the early window opening to make it to the end of the race.
- With the race taking a turn toward the chaotic side, Blaney would find himself back in the top-10 and in contention to challenge for another top-five finish with a lap 98 caution flag bunching up the field. Blaney would go on to finish ninth, allowing him to easily make it into the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs.
Quote: “It was a solid day. We did well in the stages and got some good stage points. We had to cycle back to the back a couple times, but with the spot we were in a lot of people they just wanted good stage points and we did a good job of that. At the end with all of those late cautions and people in desperation mode you just don’t want to get wrecked. You want to just try to finish the race and not get turned around and put yourself in a really bad spot, so was kind of little bit cautious at the end, but we did what we needed to do today and move on. It’s nice.”