RYAN BLANEY No. 12 BODYARMOR CHERRY LIME FORD MUSTANG
START - 8TH
STAGE ONE - 3RD
STAGE TWO - 5TH
STAGE THREE - 1ST
FINISH - 1ST
Ryan Blaney captured Team Penske's third Coca-Cola 600 victory Monday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, marking the first time Team Penske has won the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500 in the same season. Blaney snapped a 59-race winless streak by leading a race-high – and career-high - 163 laps en route to his eighth-career win. The crown jewel victory also marks the first for Jonathan Hassler as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief. Blaney took his first lead of the afternoon on lap 41 before settling into third in the latter stages of Stage 1 but battled with the No. 24 and No. 20 for the stage win before taking third in the opening stage. After continuing to run third for most of the Stage 2, Blaney brought the No. 12 to pit road for a scheduled green flag stop on lap 147 before the race went under the red flag on lap 155 for rain. Following a 30-minute delay, Blaney battled side-by-side with the No. 45 for the top spot before regaining the lead once again. However, teams on fresher tires made their way to the front, shuffling him back to fifth, where Blaney ultimately finished Stage 2. Blaney made his way back to the lead on lap 227 by making his way around the No. 4 with a big run off turn 4 and continued to lead while making the high line work. After the caution flag flew on lap 274, Blaney made a trip to pit road for four tires and a round of adjustments to address a loose-handling condition that set in on the long run. Despite battling back-and-forth with the No. 45 during the ensuing laps, Blaney prevailed to pick up the stage win in Stage 3. After coming off of pit road second during the stage break, Blaney once again regained the lead on the restart on lap 307. The final caution flag of the night waved on lap 374 on the opening lap of the restart where Blaney was scored the leader over the No. 24. The field took the green for the final time with 20 laps to go and Blaney stretched his lead lap-after-lap, culminating in his eighth-career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
"Obviously a big weekend for Team Penske. Watching the Indy 500 yesterday, how that played out, and watching Josef win his first one and watching Mr. Penske win No. 19, that's really cool to see. Especially when that stuff happens, you're like, well, the pressure is on for us to try to sweep the weekend, especially in two really big races. That was the goal, and fortunately we executed well enough to get it done. I'm really looking forward to talking to Roger here after I get done and back to the bus because I haven't congratulated him enough, and I'm looking forward to hearing his voice. A big weekend, and obviously winning the 600 is massive. I grew up coming here watching my dad race for a long time as a kid. It's just what we did every summer. Really cool, and it was cool for my parents to be here as well. So that was a special moment. Fun night, that's for sure. Monday races seem to go really well for me. I don't know what it is, but definitely a fun night."