- Ryan Blaney battled an ill-handling Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang throughout The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.
- The field was set per random draw, which gave the High Point, N.C. native the seventh-place starting position. Within the first 20 laps Blaney fell outside the top-10 and, unfortunately, that’s where he would stay for most of the afternoon.
- For much of the race, Blaney said the Menards/Duracell Ford was tight and lacked front grip. Crew chief Todd Gordon made multiple changes during the opening segment of the race, including air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments. Blaney was credited with an 18th-place finish when the stage ended on lap 90.
- Stage 2 saw the Menards/Duracell Ford continue to be on the tight side. The seventh caution on lap 174 and subsequent 10-lap run on fresh tires saw Blaney come home with a 13th-place finish when the stage ended on lap 185.
- Blaney and the Menards team began to overcome their handling woes in the third and final stage – it just happened a little too late to make a run for the win. After falling back to 21st, the team improved the balance of the Menards/Duracell Ford and Blaney rallied through the field to score a 16th-place finish.
- Blaney is now eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 74 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
“It was great to be back at the track today. We struggled with the balance of our Menards/Duracell Ford. We were too tight to start and finally got the car to the loose side by the end of the race. Darlington has been a challenge in the past and we’ll regroup and get ready to go racing again on Wednesday night.”