Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report
Track: Dover International Speedway
Race: AAA 400 Drive For Autism
Date: May 6, 2018
No. 12 Menards / Duracell Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 10th
Stage 2: 8th
Laps Completed: 400/400
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 7th (-120)
- Ryan Blaney started his No. 12 Menards / Duracell Ford Fusion from the 14th position in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.
- In stage one, Blaney reported his car started out tight and built loose as the run went along. The first round of pit stops under caution on lap 22 saw the Jeremy Bullins’ led crew make a wedge and air pressure adjustment.
- The timing of that first caution left the majority of cars very close on fuel to the stage one end. Bullins instructed the young driver to save enough fuel to the lap 120 completion. He managed to do it and finished 10th in stage one.
- Blaney fought much of the same handling issues during the second stage. His Ford was loose on entry and tight off. Near the end of the stage, the Menards / Duracell Ford became extremely tight, which forced Blaney to take care of the right front tire his the car. He salvaged an eighth-place finish in stage two.
- After some significant adjustments, Blaney restarted stage three inside the top-10. The adjustments didn’t make a significant impact on the handling and he still fought a tight car. The race was stopped on lap 317 for a light shower which led to a 40-plus minute red flag for track drying.
- The race ran green the final 75 laps and Blaney finished the day with an eighth-place finish. This tied a career-best Dover MENCS finish. He also moved up one spot in the point standings to seventh.
Quote: “We had a decent day with our Menards / Duracell Ford. We fought a tight car all day and slowly made progress as the race went along. Big thanks to my team that made improvements on our car from practice on Friday to today. We struggled last year at Dover, so to bring home a solid finish is a step in the right direction.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!