No. 12 Wabash National Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 14th
Laps Completed: 334/334
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-45)
- A challenging day for Ryan Blaney resulted in an eighth-place finish Sunday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. The driver of the Wabash National Ford Mustang scored his 10th top-10 finish of 2019 and remains sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 45 points behind leader Martin Truex Jr. and 23 points behind fourth place Joey Logano for the final transfer spot.
- Blaney started 15th and reported early the balance of his Ford Mustang was tight. An early caution on lap 16 would see him visit pit road for the first time for fuel-only. Restarting outside the top-25, Blaney would begin to work his way back toward the front. A caution on lap 44 would see the High Point, N.C. native return to pit road fuel-only again, reporting his car had swung to the loose side in traffic. The strategy gained Blaney eight spots on pit road.
- The caution would waive again shortly after the restart and Blaney would pit on lap 57 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment reporting his car was still too tight. The rash of early cautions would continue on lap 73 and 82 with crew chief Jeremy Bullins electing to race for much-needed stage points. In what would be a one lap sprint to the stage conclusion, Blaney would bring home a ninth-place finish in Stage 1. Under the stage caution he would pit for right side tires and fuel.
- Stage 2 would run caution free and Blaney would report the balance of the Wabash Ford was loose on entry, middle and tight off. Running outside the top-10 for most of the stage, Blaney would come to pit road on lap 151 for fuel-only. He would work his way up into the top-15 bringing home a 14th-place finish in Stage 2. During the stage break, the Wabash crew would make significant air pressure and track bar adjustments along with four new tires as Blaney reported he needed more overall grip and was loose.
- Blaney began final stage restarting 14th. A caution 10 laps later on lap 187 would see the Wabash crew elect to come down pit road to top-off fuel. He would continue around the 12th position for the majority of run until green flag pit stops began. A timely caution for a spin by Bubba Wallace trapped several of the frontrunners down one lap. Running seventh, Blaney would pit for four tires along with another track bar and air pressure adjustment for front turn and rear security. Strong service by the Wabash crew would gain Blaney one position up to sixth for the restart on lap 248.
- The final 86 laps would be run under green. Blaney would eventually give up a position to Alex Bowman on lap 291. He would visit pit road for the final time on lap 309 for fuel-only along with both a track bar and wedge adjustment. Returning the track in eighth position he would hold off Kurt Busch and bring home his 10th top-10 finish of 2019.
Quote: “It was a long night. We struggled 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 No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) winning didn’t help our cause, but we have to run better than that anyway.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!