Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 5th
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 1
Point Standings (behind first): 15th (-96)
- Ryan Blaney collected his first top-five finish of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. The driver of the Menards/Pennzoil Mustang collected points in both stages to score his fourth top-five result in 10 starts at Las Vegas. Blaney is now 15th in the Cup Series standings, 96 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
- Blaney started Sunday’s race in 26th position and made his way up to ninth position by the lap 25 competition caution. He reported to crew chief Todd Gordon that his car was running a little loose, but was handling well in traffic. Blaney made his first stop on lap 27 as the No. 12 Mustang received four tires and an air pressure adjustment.
- After restarting eighth, Blaney made his way to fifth place prior the second caution on lap 47. He made his second stop one lap later for four tires and additional air pressure adjustments, and he reported the ride quality wasn’t quite as good. Blaney restarted the race inside the top five and he drove his way up to the third position by the conclusion of Stage 1 on lap 80.
- Blaney began Stage 2 from the fifth position. With an improved Menards/Pennzoil Ford, he raced back up to third by the time green flag pit stops began on lap 123. After he rejoined the race in fifth place, Blaney was scored fifth at the conclusion of Stage 2 on lap 160.
- After he began the final stage of the race in the eighth position on lap 167, Blaney moved up to third place when he made his final pit stop of the day on lap 223. Late in the race, Blaney passed Martin Truex Jr. for fifth on lap 250 and he maintained the same position through the conclusion of the Pennzoil 400.
“It was a positive race after the struggle we had getting going this year with having three very bad races. We had good speed in our Menards/Pennzoil Ford Mustang, just didn’t quite have enough. We lost a little bit of time on that last pit stop. We kind of had a miscommunication thing, but I don’t think we were going to catch the No. 5 (Kyle Larson). He was the class of the field, but we made it a lot better. I was a little bit tight there at the end, but proud of Todd Gordon and everybody for not letting a few bad finishes get us down. Hopefully, we can start getting on a roll here.”