BLANEY TACKLES THE TRICKY TRIANGLE

  • A quiet day for Ryan Blaney resulted in a 12th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the Menards/Libman Ford Mustang battled back late in the 160-lap, 400-mile race at the “Tricky Triangle” and remains ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
  • Blaney started 17th and struggled early, falling outside the top-25. As the laps ticked off he began picking off positions one by one and reported to crew chief Jeremy Bullins the balance of the No. 12 Mustang was tight, especially in Turn 3. Blaney pitted during the competition caution on lap 20 for right-side tires and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Once racing resumed on lap 24, Blaney reported no change in the handling of his Ford Mustang with the two tires. Several leaders chose to pit before the end of Stage 1 and Blaney benefitted, steadily moving up through the running order. He scored a sixth-place finish when the first segment of the race concluded on lap 50.
  • Under the stage caution, Bullins called for four tires and multiple adjustments to the Menards/Libman Ford including wedge, air pressure and a piece of tape on the nose. Racing resumed on lap 55, but the pace slowed once again on lap 58, thanks to the fourth caution. Blaney pitted for a splash of fuel and stayed on the track during the next yellow on lap 62. In a race that proved to be challenging to pass and with Blaney outside the top-10, the Menards crew called the High Point, N.C. native to pit road on lap 94 for four tires and fuel along with an air pressure adjustment – six laps from the conclusion of the segment. Blaney returned to the track and collected a 24th-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 100. He didn’t pit during the stage caution and restarted ninth on lap 105.
  • A chaotic restart shuffled Blaney back to 17th when the race went green. The driver of the Menards/Libman Ford slowly began to pick off positions, moving up to 15th by lap 115. Blaney reported his car’s balance switched from the tight to loose side. He would make his penultimate pit stop on 120, where the team changed right-side tires and made a wedge adjustment. The final caution of the race flew on lap 148 and Blaney made his final pit stop of the day for right-side tires. He restarted 14th with nine laps to go and gain two positions over the final miles, claiming a 12th-place finish at the checkered flag.
Quote: “I thought we had a pretty good Menards/Libman Ford today. Passing was difficult so track position basically meant everything. Several of the restarts I was stuck on the bottom lane that made it difficult to get going. We’ll now focus on Michigan next week and we’ll try to bring home a strong run.”
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