DESPITE RACE TROUBLES, BLANEY FINISHES IN TOP-10 AT POCONO

  • Ryan Blaney battled back after misfortunes before and during the Gander RV 400 to score a 10th-place finish at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang racked up his ninth top-10 finish of the season and moved up to 10th position in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 15 behind ninth-place Aric Almirola and 225 points behind leader Joey Logano.
  • Blaney unofficially earned the 20th starting position in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but his time was disallowed after his No. 12 Mustang failed pre-race inspection on Sunday morning. He started 30th but had gained five position by lap 5. Blaney reported to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that the balance of the No. 12 Ford Mustang was tight in all three turns. The MoneyLion crew opted to run long during the first stage of the race. Blaney made his first scheduled pit stop under green on lap 39 for four tires, fuel plus a track bar and wedge adjustments. He was credited with a 20th-place finish when Stage 1 concluded on lap 50. Bullins decided not to pit during the stage caution and Blaney restarted just outside the top-10 when the race went green on lap 54.
  • The MoneyLion Mustang remained tight during the early laps of Stage 2. Blaney scraped the wall in Turn 3 and was forced to pit road on lap 61 two right side tires and fuel along with a wedge and air pressure adjustment. He would return to the track just in front of then leaders Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Eventually Blaney would lose a lap to the leaders just before second caution of the race came out on lap 85. The caution was a break for Blaney, who received the free pass back onto the lead lap. He pitted on lap 86 and began to fight his way through the field after the restart on lap 87. But as Stage 2 drew to a close, Daniel Suarez pushed Blaney into the wall off Turn 2, causing him to spin in Turn 3 on lap 100.
  • The High Point, N.C. would once again return to pit road multiple times for damage repair on the both sides of MoneyLion Ford, and again lost a lap in the process. He Blaney would finally catch a break when the fifth caution of day waived on lap 115 and once again received the free pass back to the lead lap.
  • After the stop, Bullins told Blaney to save fuel whenever he could as the MoneyLion team looked to try to make it to the end of the 160-lap race without another fuel stop. Everything changed when the second-to-last caution flew on lap 154 and Blaney pitted for scuffed tires.
  • Blaney restarted outside the top-15 on lap 156 and armed with fresher tires began charging through the pack. The seventh and final caution on lap 158 push the finish into NASCAR Overtime. Blaney took full advantage of the three-lap dash, slicing his way through traffic to claim a 10th-place finish and ending his up-and-down day with a strong recovery.

Quote:
“It was looking really bad for a while just from not being fast at all. I had to start at the back and we just didn’t go anywhere. We went nowhere and we weren’t really handling good. I thought at first it was dirty air, but a couple cars drove up through there and even when we got a little bit of clean air, I still wasn’t very good, so that was frustrating. I thought we were going to get some track position on equal tires on that restart and the 41 (Suarez) ran into us in the tunnel. My crew did a good job of fixing what they could and just got a good last restart. I think we started eighth and ran 10th, so we salvaged something there.  It was kind of a long day, a frustrating day, and we just need to be better.”

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