No. 12 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 14th
Laps Completed: 139/140
Laps Led: 21
Point Standings (Behind First): 2nd (-52)
Ryan Blaney started ninth and finished 22nd in Sunday’s Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang ran in the top-five most of the day, but late-race contact with the outside wall ruined the High Point, N.C. native’s day.
Blaney started off strong driving his way into second-place by lap five. Following a 50-minute delay for rain, Blaney restarted second and begin a battle with Kurt Busch for the race lead. Battling an aero-tight Menards/Richmond Ford, Blaney would settle for a second-place finish in Stage 1 and chose not to pit during the stage break.
Restarting second on the inside lane, Blaney managed to work his way around Busch for the race lead on lap 36. He would lead until lap 57, when he came to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Once returning to the track Blaney managed to work his way back up to 14th-position when Stage 2 concluded on lap 85.
Blaney restarted ninth for the final stage of the race and made his final scheduled pit stop on lap 101 for right-side tires and fuel. In position to run to the end of the event, Blaney was forced to make an unscheduled stop after contact with the outside wall and was credited with a 22nd-place finish.
Blaney remains second in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 52 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Quote: “We had another good Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang today. I felt like we made improvements on the handling over yesterday and were positioned for a top-five finish. Unfortunately, I got in the wall and had to make an unscheduled pit stop. The results weren’t indicative of how we ran, but we’ll move on to Indianapolis next week.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!