No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Round 1: 12th
Round 2: 1st
Round 3: 14th
Round 4: 6th
Round 5: 4th
Laps Completed: 100/100
Laps Led: 15
Ryan Blaney started the NASCAR All-Star Race in the 17th position, won the second round and ultimately finished fifth in the No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Ford Mustang. Blaney ran inside the top-five and proved to be one of the cars who could pass throughout the exhibition event, gaining positions on every invert throughout the night. On the final restart, Blaney was able to get a run at the race lead but ultimately got shuffled back to the fifth position.
Blaney struggled with the Menards/Wrangler Mustang at the drop of the green, chattering the fronts and sliding the rears. Blaney finished the first round in the 12th position and begin the second round in the front thanks to a random invert.
In the second round, Blaney used the track position and clean air to his advantage, keeping the lead and winning the round. Under caution, he reported the Menards/Wrangler Mustang was still too free on corner entry but was improved from the first run. Blaney would finish the third round in the 14th position, fighting an unpredictable handling condition in the dirty air.
In the fourth round, Blaney would restart 14th but power his way forward to the sixth position in the 15-lap dash. The team would hit pit road at lap 65, making the mandatory pit stop for four-tires and fuel. The Menards/Wrangler team finished the fifth round in the fourth position.
Blaney lined up in the third position for the 10-lap shootout to the end, ultimately the inside line would stack up on the opening lap and Blaney would bring the No. 12 Menards/Wrangler Mustang home in the fifth position.
Quote: “We were pretty decent all night. We had a couple good finishes in the stages which averaged us out to fourth. We were running fourth or fifth there and we had a restart and I took the bottom for the last stage and got a pretty good restart and took them three-wide into 1 and didn’t clear the top lane and they freight trained through me and I got loose entering turn 1 and gave up a few spots. It was going to be hard to beat the Hendrick guys. They were pretty fast. Brad had a good run at them but I thought that was our only shot, that restart, but I just didn’t quite clear ‘em.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!