No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 7th
Stage 2: 5th
Laps Completed: 268/268
Laps Led: 1
Point Standings (behind first): 13th (-1006)
Ryan Blaney had a fast Ford Mustang on Sunday night and finished seventh in the South Point 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The driver of the DEX Imaging Ford Mustang ran in and around the top-five most of the night to bring home his 12th top-10 finish of 2020 and sixth in nine starts at Las Vegas.
Blaney started 15th and made his way up to fifth by the competition caution on lap 25. He reported to crew chief Todd Gordon that the DEX Imaging Ford was building tight on exit. He made his first pit stop of the race on lap 26 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting 10th, Blaney would make his way back to seventh when Stage 1 concluded on lap 80.
Blaney would restart 10th when Stage 2 began on lap 86. He reported slight improvements to the balance of the DEX Imaging Ford and would make his third stop on lap 119 under green, taking four tires and an additional air pressure adjustment. The adjustments helped and he eventually came home fifth position at the conclusion of Stage 2.
The final stage began with Blaney restarting in sixth position. He would work his way up to fourth by lap 189. Shortly after he would lose two spots as the balance shifted to the loose side. He was running fifth when he made his final stop of the day on lap 231.
Unfortunately, an ill-timed debris caution on lap 237 dropped many of the leaders a lap down, forcing them to take the waive-around. Restarting 14th, Blaney would make his way up as high as third, but a couple late restarts caused the DEX Imaging Ford to go to the tight side and Blaney would come home in the seventh position.
Blaney is 13th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings heading to Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday.
Quote: “Overall it was a decent night. We had to start mid pack and were able to drive up through there pretty quick. I thought our Mustang was good and we made good adjustments on it throughout the night. By the second stage I thought we were really strong, we just needed to restart with the leaders and stay in touch with them. That caution that trapped a bunch of us a lap down was unfortunate. I think we were running fourth or fifth at the time. We were able to rebound alright and we started third on that last restart and tried to push Matt (DiBenedetto) and get there but the top just kind of trained up on us. It was unfortunate to run seventh but we had a good car and really good adjustments all night. I thought we were right there, so I am proud of that effort.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!