LATE-RACE PENALTY SPOILS RYAN BLANEY’S RUN AT MARTINSVILLE

Start: 4th
Stage 1: 1st
Stage 2: 1st
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 500/500
Laps Led: 157
Final Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-107)

Notes:

  • Ryan Blaney and the Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang dominated most of the afternoon at Martinsville Speedway before falling to the grips of a late-race mistake on pit road that ultimately cost the No. 12 team a chance for the win. Blaney was credited with a 11th- place finish in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.
  • The 500-lap event at the famed paperclip-shaped oval was delayed to Sunday due to inclement weather in the Martinsville area the night before. When the engines fired back up on Sunday, Blaney started fourth and quickly moved up to the top position. Despite some wheel chatter, the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil Mustang crossed the start/finish line first to secure the win in the first stage, his second overall stage win of 2021.
  • Restarting Stage 2 in the top position, Blaney battled with Denny Hamlin for a majority of the stage. With a great pit stop on lap 243, the No. 12 machine managed to stay out front through a long green-flag run and bring home his third stage win of 2021.
  • While Blaney and the No. 12 Menards/Pennzoil team continued to run upfront in the final stage, the call from the box was to get fresh tires for the last 47-lap run. Unfortunately, the No. 12 team was issued a penalty for removing a pit item from the box and had to start at the tail end of the field. Restarting 19th, Blaney managed to pick off eight additional spots to finish the race in 11th.

Quote: We had a really good Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang tonight.  On the long runs we were really good.  Denny (Hamlin) was good on short runs.  I was just kind of trying to hold off the guys behind me until we got 20 or so laps in and then I could kind of start creeping forward. We just got that pit road penalty at the end.  It’s just a mistake and something that should be avoided.  We’ve had an issue the last three times we’ve been here with a car to win, so that’s frustrating but I’m real proud of the effort.  I just wish we could close one out.”

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