Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 191/191
Laps Led: 11
Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-100)
- Driving the No. 12 Menards/Sylvania Ford Mustang, Ryan Blaney started seventh, led 11 laps and finished ninth in Sunday afternoon’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The finish marked Blaney’s fifth top-10 career result at the Alabama Superspeedway. Blaney and the No. 12 Ford team are now ranked fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 100 markers behind leader Denny Hamlin.
- During the opening run on Sunday, Blaney fell outside the top 10 before the competition caution flag flew on lap 25. Scored in the 11th position, Blaney reported the No. 12 Menards/Sylvania Mustang ran just a little free in the draft. The adjustments on the first stop helped the handling of the No. 12 Mustang and Blaney raced his way to the second position to finish out Stage One. On the stage-ending pit stop, crew chief Todd Gordon elected to keep the previous air pressure adjustment on the No. 12 Ford and take four fresh tires and fuel. Unfortunately, Blaney ran low on fuel while coming onto pit road, which resulted in lost track position.
- Blaney restarted the second stage in 22nd place and raced his way to eighth before making a green flag stop on lap 92 for fuel and right-side tires. Blaney moved back up into the second position, but got shuffled to sixth before a caution flag ended the second stage prematurely. Blaney told his crew the Menards/Sylvania Mustang was running well and the team elected to pit at the stage caution for right-side tires and fuel, as the No. 12 Mustang won the race off pit road.
- Blaney began the final stage as the race leader, but surrendered the top position to fellow Ford racer Aric Almirola to remove debris off the grill of his car. After making a green flag stop, Blaney was scored in 19th place, trailing behind the lead draft. The caution flag was displayed with 17 laps to go, which allowed Blaney to catch the lead draft and remain on track under caution.
- The High Point N.C. native restarted the race in eighth place with 12 laps remaining. Working with his Ford teammates, Blaney raced his way to the second position before the seventh caution period of the day with four laps remaining, which set up NASCAR overtime. As the field jockeyed for position over the final overtime laps, Blaney was shuffled back and ultimately finished in ninth place.
Quote: “Overall, not a bad day. I really would have liked to not see a caution at the end of that thing with Matt, Brad and I all lined up there. It would have been nice to see where we all wound up, but the top on green-white-checkers I never think is any good because the bottom always wins out on that because the bottom lane they can’t go anywhere. They can’t move up, and then guys that are in the second lane they just bail to the top because guys in the back are trying to get all the spots you can, so that just kind of makes the top fall apart. It just kind of fell apart on us and then couldn’t get any help from behind, but, overall, nice to still be rolling at the end of that thing and not a bad finish, not a bad day.”