RYAN BLANEY No. 12 WURTH FORD MUSTANG
STAGE ONE: 1ST
STAGE TWO: 2ND
Ryan Blaney had his No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang at the front of the field throughout Sunday night’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in search of his second-career win at the 1.5-mile track. After starting on the inside of the front row, Blaney and teammate Joey Logano worked together to keep their Ford Mustangs in the top-five for a majority of the opening stage before pushing the No. 22 to the lead on lap 47. Ten laps later, Blaney got a big run down the backstretch to take the lead in turn four as the front of the field battled for the Stage 1 win. On the final lap of the opening stage, Blaney battled side-by-side with Logano before holding off the No. 5 at the line for his third stage win of the season. After his first trip to pit road during the stage break, Blaney restarted on the inside of row one and was pushed to the lead with the help of Logano as Team Penske controlled the top three spots in the running order during the first green flag run of Stage 2. Following a caution on lap 80, Blaney led the field down pit road for fuel only and restarted sixth as a handful of cars opted to stay out during the yellow. Blaney continued to work the high line to make his way back into the top-five shortly after the restart before settling into second with 30 laps remaining in the second segment. He traded the lead back-and-forth with the No. 6 as the laps clicked off in the stage but was scored second by the time the caution flag flew on lap 155 as Stage 2 ended under yellow. The No. 12 team brought Blaney to pit road for four tires and fuel ahead of the start of the final stage, shuffling him back to 20th as teams varied their pit strategies with inclement weather looming. Blaney quickly raced his way back into the top-10 on fresher tires, but a caution on lap 177 halted his momentum - before rainfall halted the race – resulting in an eight-place finish. Blaney led three times for 20 laps while securing is tenth top-10 of the season.
"We had such a fast Wurth Ford Mustang tonight. We've really hit on something in both trips to Atlanta this year. Some guys played the game of it may be raining before the end of Stage 2, then it looked like we might run the whole race. The split strategies with the rain threw everything off and I wish we could've seen this one through. Our Ford Mustang was so good, but fortunate to come away with a top-10."