Blaney Has Huge Uphill Battle At Phoenix

Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney manhandled his No. 12 Team Penske Ford to an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but he finished the night 23 points behind fourth-place finisher Joey Logano—who also is fourth in the standings—for the final two spots in the Championship 4.

“It was a long night,” Blaney acknowledged. “We struggled really bad all night with track position, and then I felt like, even when we got a little bit of it, we still weren’t very good.

“We tried a lot of things tonight, and they didn’t really work. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get many stage points and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) winning didn’t help our cause, but we have to run better than that anyway.”

Nor did it help Blaney’s cause that Ryan Newman, a driver notoriously difficult to pass, held him up during a green-flag run and blocked Blaney’s run off Turn 2.

“Ryan is Ryan and he is going to race hard,” Blaney said. “I was mad that I had a massive run up top and he just turned right and it made me jump out of the gas and get tight and hit the fence.

“That’s what I was mad about. I was fine with the racing before that, but when someone has a big run like that it’s like, ‘C’mon.’”

That incident likely didn’t change Blaney’s situation heading for ISM Raceway at Phoenix.

“Gotta win,” Blaney said. “Hopefully, we go do that.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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