No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Race Finish: 1st (First All-Star Race win)
Stage 1 Finish: 2nd
Stage 2 Finish: 2nd
Stage 3 Finish: 1st
Laps Led: 84 (Race high)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney held off all challengers and scored the win in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The driver of the Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang led 84 of the 140 laps to score the victory. This was the fourth win for Team Penske in the All-Star Race. In the opening stage, Blaney showed tremendous pace with the No. 12 Ford but dirty air would keep him trapped behind eventual stage winner Kyle Busch. In the second stage, Blaney missed a large multi-vehicle incident on the front stretch again finishing in the second position. In the third stage it was Blaney grabbing the lead early and powering to the win, guaranteeing the No. 12 team a front row starting spot for the final event. Using two strong pushes from teammate Austin Cindric, Blaney managed hold off Denny Hamlin for the victory.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “We were cruising there, and I just wanted to get to the white to have it covered and then the caution came out off of four. I thought it was like any other race. That rule was never kind of relayed to us. I already took my window net down and everything. My left arm is worn out from trying to get that damn thing back up. I got it rigged up enough to where it halfway stayed. I appreciate NASCAR for not making us come down pit road to fix it and letting me get it clipped back again to where we could stay out there. This Mustang was a rocketship. I am really glad we ended up winning that after that last caution. I am so proud of everybody. Tonight will be fun.”