No. 12 Pirtek Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 1st
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 13
Driver Point Standings (behind first): N/A
- Ryan Blaney finished fourth in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International after an up and down day. The driver of the Pirtek Ford Mustang made his first XFINITY Series start of 2019 and led 13 laps on the day.
- Blaney rolled off third for the 82-lap, 200-mile event and on the initial start of the race fell back to the fourth position going thru turn 1. He reported to crew chief Matt Swiderski the balance of the Pirtek Ford Mustang was tight and lacked overall drive. In an early strategy move, Blaney would come to pit road on lap 12 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Once the cycle of green flag stops concluded, Blaney would finish Stage 1 in the fifth position.
- He would stay out under the Stage 1 caution and once racing resumed; he would lead the next 13 laps. Blaney would eventually give up the lead to polesitter Kyle Busch on lap 36 only to quickly regain it after mechanical issues befell No. 18 car on the same lap.
- A lap 37 restart would see Blaney receive right front nose damage from A.J. Allmendinger’s car in turn 1. He would solider on and be credited with the Stage 2 victory after the disqualification of the No. 10 car post-race.
- Blaney would stay out under the Stage 2 conclusion and still report his Pirtek Ford needed additional forward drive. Once the final stage of the race began, he would come to pit road on lap 48 for four tires, fuel an air pressure adjustment. The changes did not improve the handing of the car and Blaney would battle hard to keep his spot inside the top-10.
- Blaney would make his final stop of the day on lap 70 under caution for four tires and fuel along with a track bar and air pressure adjustment. He would avoid a multi-crash in turn on lap 74 in turn 1 and a near crash in the esses on the final restart to bring home a fourth-place finish.
Quote: “It was a long day and we just didn’t have the car where we wanted it to be. We got closer near the end with the balance. I’m happy for Austin (Cindric) and it was cool to see him get his first win. I was watching his race there at the end and he did a good job.”
TIL NEXT TIME,I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!