No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 3rd
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 1
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 10th (-253)
- Ryan Blaney started from seventh position in Saturday night’s 400-mile race at Kentucky Speedway.
- Shortly after the drop of the green flag, Blaney moved his way quickly into the top-five, clicking off laps in Stage 1. He reported the balance of his DEX Imaging Ford Fusion was tight in and loose off. On the first round of service on lap 40, Blaney took four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. Those adjustments didn’t help the initial fire-off speed but provided better security off the corners as the run progressed.
- Blaney would bring home a fourth-place finish in stage 1. During the stage caution, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called Blaney to pit road on lap 84. The DEX Imaging crew took four tires, fuel, and air pressure adjustment.
- Stage 2 began on lap 87 and Blaney drove his way into the top-three on the restart. He would spend much of the next 70-plus laps trying to find a way around second-place runner Kyle Busch. He reported the DEX Imaging Ford started off tight and began to build on the loose side. Blaney continued to work with his onboard track bar adjuster and the car went to the neutral side. He would finish stage 2 in the third position. During the stage caution, the team took four tires, fuel and an additional air pressure adjustment for entry security.
- Stage 3 began with several cars using different tire strategies to gain valuable track position. Blaney would restart outside the top-five, but would quickly work his way back to the front near the 300-mile mark of the race. He passed Kurt Busch for second and set his sights on leader Martin Truex Jr. Unfortunately the No. 78 car proved to be too strong and Blaney brought home a second-place finish. This was Blaney’s best finish of 2018 and first top-five finish since Texas in April. He moved up one spot to 10th in the points standings.
Quote: “It’s not a win. It’s a positive, that’s for sure. I hate it. I thought we were in a good spot there restarting fourth and Martin (Truex Jr.) struggled a little bit the first couple laps and I thought I could get by him, but just couldn’t quite get a run on him. His car came in and mine kind of faded a little bit and he won the race. That stunk. I thought we had a shot at it tonight, but I’m really proud of the gains we made all race though, to be honest with you. I didn’t think we were a second-place car at the beginning of the race, and we got a lot better throughout the night so Jeremy Bullins and everybody did a great job. I can’t thank DEX Imaging and Ford and Menards enough for what they do. You said it, after the last few weeks we’ve had this is a very good positive for us. Hopefully, we can keep it going in the right direction.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!