Ryan Blaney | No. 12 Menards / Dutch Boy Ford Mustang

Start: 11th
Stage 1: 14th
Stage 2: 8th
Finish: 9th

Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney led Team Penske to the green flag of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway from the 11th starting position and dealt with minor handling issues in the corners on the first two green flag runs of the day. The No. 12 team made adjustments to equalize the balance during the first two pit stops of the afternoon, resulting in a 14th-place finish in Stage 1. Blaney and the No. 12 team opted to long-pit as green flag stops began to cycle during Stage 2, allowing Blaney to take the lead on lap 141 before coming down pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments. Blaney rejoined the field in the top-15, but quickly made his way towards the top-10 in the following laps before settling into ninth in the closing laps of the stage. He went on to cross the line eighth at the end of Stage 2 under caution. Blaney began to find success running the wall and had a strong drive-off in the corners, but experienced a tight-handling Ford Mustang in traffic while battling to stay in the top-10 of the running order. Following another long, green flag run that saw another long-pit strategy, Blaney brought the No. 12 to pit road from second on lap 252 for four tires and a round of adjustments to free him up on the long run. Despite cycling to 14th in the running order, Blaney took advantage of a flurry of late cautions to restart the overtime attempt from sixth before taking the checkered flag ninth for his seventh top-10 finish of the season and fourth in the last five races.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “Track position was big. We got decent in the second stage. We long-pitted and I thought we made up good ground. We went from 18th to eighth and our car was pretty respectable there. but then the track went tight on us and we lost a little bit of speed and handling. We lined up there at the end and just got caught. They stacked up and destroyed the nose, so it was just one of those days.”
Blaney is currently 7th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings.

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