No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 40th
Laps Completed: 199/500
Laps Led: 60
Point Standings (Behind First): 9th (-96)
A promising early start for Ryan Blaney ended up with an accident on lap 199 and a 40th-place finish in the Supermarket Heroes 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The driver of the Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang led 60 laps on the day.
Blaney started fourth and quickly worked his way to second behind teammate Brad Keselowski. A lap-20 competition caution would see the High Point, N.C. native remain on track. He would fall back to fifth on the restart before the caution would waive for second time on lap 62 for another competition caution. Solid pit service would get Blaney out fourth.
On the restart, Blaney would get back up to second behind Keselowski and would eventually pass him for the lead on lap 84. He would lead the next 21 circuits before being passed by Chase Elliott on lap 105. Blaney would hold on to second when Stage 1 ended on lap 125.
Strong pit service by the Menards crew got Blaney out with the lead as Stage 2 began. He would lead the next 39 laps before relinquishing the top spot to Keselowski on lap 170.
On lap 199, Blaney would get loose in turn 2 while racing for the lead and lose control of the Menards Ford. He would be hit by Ty Dillion, ending a promising a day. Blaney now sits eighth in the championship standings, 96 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Quote: “I was running up there for a little bit. I did not think I was that high and suddenly I hit a slick spot. I was way high and that is obviously not where I wanted to be, but I did not think I was that high getting in there. It might have just been trying to get too much and got in the marbles and spun out. I thought we were going be okay and then we got destroyed about six seconds later, so that’s just Bristol. I probably should not have been pushing that hard, but I was trying to get back to the lead. I thought we found some speed up there, just a mistake on my part. I hate it for Menards and Richmond and everybody on this No. 12 team. After having two strong weeks, you go and you wreck not even halfway, so that is just a bummer. We’ll go to Atlanta and see what we can do.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!