- Ryan Blaney started 14th in Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver of the Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion ran well in the opening laps of the 267-lap event. He reported early his car was tight on corner entry and loose off. Blaney would make his first green flag pit stop on lap 35 where crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
- Soon after the pit stop Blaney reported that the air pressure adjustment didn’t help his lack of turn on entry and he finished 11th in Stage 1. Bullins continued to tinker with the air pressure in all four tires on the second pit stop on lap 83 in an effort to improve the handling.
- Unfortunately, the No. 12 Ford Fusion continued to lack grip on the corner entry and in the center plus it was very loose on exit. The Menards crew worked with air pressure changes during a green flag pit stop on lap 117 and stop on lap 141 under caution in an effort to get the car to respond. The team improved his entry thanks to adjustments on lap 141 but he was struggling to keep pace with cars on fresh tires. Blaney was credited with a 15th-place finish when Stage 2 concluded on lap 160.
- Running just inches off the outside wall for the majority of the race, Blaney made slight contact with the outside wall on a couple occasions. During a caution on lap 196, Bullins called his driver to pit road for minor repairs to the Menards/Richmond Ford for the final 100 miles of the race.
- Blaney struggled with a tight handling race car for the remainder of the event, scoring a 17th-place finish at the checkered flag. He closes out the 2018 Cup Series season with one win (Charlotte ROVAL) and career-bests in top-five finishes (eight), top-10s (16), laps led (660) and poles (three) on the way to a 10th-place finish in the Cup Series standings.
Quote: “We had a tough day with our Menards/Richmond Ford Fusion. We just couldn’t get the balance where we needed it today. Huge congratulations to Joey Logano and the entire Team Penske organization on the second Cup Series championship. I’m also very proud of my entire No. 12 team and all the hard work they’ve put in this year and we hope for a lot more success in 2019.”