No. 12 Menards/Knauf Institution Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 3rd
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-299)
- Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 Menards/Knauf Insulation Ford Fusion in eighth position for the Consumers Energy 400 at the Michigan International Speedway.
- Blaney drove his Ford Fusion into the top-five during the first 20 laps of the race. He reported early to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that his car was tight in both the center of the turns and off. During the competition caution on lap 27, Blaney pitted for right-side tires and a wedge adjustment.
- Blaney restarted third and settled in over the next 30 laps inside the top-three. He reported that the two-tire change made his car loose plus he experience some slight front end chatter. Blaney ultimately finished third in Stage 1, collecting valuable stage points.
- The next stop for Blaney came on lap 63 during the stage caution. Bullins and the Menards crew made larger adjustments including wedge and air pressure to help the Menards Ford with front grip. Bullins instructed Blaney to save fuel at every opportunity.
- Despite being on new tires, Blaney reported similar handling characteristics. He restarted fourth and quickly drove back up to third. He said his car was tight middle and exit, but the adjustments did help with security on corner entry.
- Blaney made his final stop under green on lap 173, taking right-side tires and fuel. He returned to the track but was too tight, falling from third to fifth, where he ultimately finished.
- Blaney scored a fifth-place finish, his fifth top-five of 2018 – his personal best in the Cup Series) and moved up two spots to eighth in the MENCS driver standings.
Quote: “It was a good showing for us today. All weekend I thought we were pretty strong. There were a couple cars better than us all day and a couple that got better at the end. The track kind of changed in the second half of the race and our car lost a little bit of speed but I am happy with fifth. The last two weeks that have been a struggle for us. It is good to get back on the right track. Hopefully, we can keep this going here for the next few weeks and then into the Playoffs.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!