No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Race Finish: 9th
Stage 1 Finish: 2nd
Stage 2 Finish: 9th
Laps Led: 2
Point Standings: 5th (-22)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney and the No 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang finished ninth on Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. After starting in the 17th position, Blaney wasted little time moving to the front and cracked the top-10 just prior to the competition caution on lap 25. On the ensuring restart, Blaney powered to the front and was battling for the lead by lap 49, taking the top spot on lap 65. He would finish Stage 1 in the second position, but had to come to the pits twice during the stage break for a loose wheel. That would cost him all of his track position and he would restart Stage 2 in the 32nd position. Blaney would slowly and methodically work his way back to the top-10 throughout the second stage, running as high as sixth before finishing ninth in the stage. The Menards/Richmond Mustang was a handful for the rest of the race, with handling characteristics swinging from very loose to very tight lap to lap. A long green-flag run would see pit stops that allowed Crew Chief Jonathan Hassler to make several changes to Blaney’s Ford. As the race wound down, he would get to ninth but stall out there, grabbing another top-10 finish and jumping to fifth in the points.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “We were okay. We drove up through the field pretty decent there starting off and finished second in the first stage. I was proud of the progress we made. I had to come down pit road there after the first stage and had to kind of reset in the back. From there we just weren’t quite good enough to get back up into the top-five. I was chasing it and adjusting the car after that. Overall, not a bad day. It was a good points day and we are looking pretty decent going into Bristol. We will have to just go there and have a good day.”