No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 15th
Stage 2: 3rd
Laps Completed: 65/65
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (Behind First): 5th (-184)
Ryan Blaney started 24th and finished 31st in Sunday’s Go Bowling 235 at the Daytona International Speedway road course. The driver of the Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang found his way to the front early in the race, but a pit road penalty and late-race strategy ultimately affected the race results for the No. 12 team.
The opening stage ran caution free and Blaney drove his way from 24th to 15th when the stage concluded on lap 15. After pitting on lap 12 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, The High Point, NC native remained on track for the start of Stage 2.
During the caution-free second stage, Blaney ran inside the top six for most of the segment and he finished the stage running third to collect some valuable points. During the stage break, the Todd Gordon-led crew went to work on the No. 12 Mustang equipping the car with four tires, fuel, and an additional air pressure adjustment.
Blaney took the green flag restart in the 23rd position as the final stage of the 65-lap event began. After Blaney worked his way up to 19th, a lightning delay and subsequent red flag halted the race. When racing resumed, Blaney restarted in the 16th position. After advancing to sixth place during the cycle of green flag pit stops, Blaney visited pit road on lap 49 for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment.
Unfortunately, Blaney had to serve a drive-through penalty after a pit-lane speed violation. A late caution allowed the Advance Auto Parts Ford to remain on track and Blaney restarted the final stretch of the race in 12th place. Unfortunately, ill handling due to old tires on the No. 12 saw Blaney fall back in the closing laps to finish in the 31st position.
Blaney now sits fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, 184 points behind leader Kevin Harvick heading into next weekend’s doubleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Quote: “It was a long day for the Advance Auto Parts team. With the new qualifying draw, we started deep in the field, but really had to work our way forward. I sped on pit road that really cost us and I was not able to hold on the old tires late. We’ll put it behind us and get ready for Dover.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!