Monday, Jan 24

Blaney Wins 2 in a Row and the Nascar Cup Playoff Field Is Set

Blaney Wins 2 in a Row and the Nascar Cup Playoff Field Is Set NK Photography Photo
Ryan Blaney won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona on Saturday night, marking his second win in a row after his victory at Michigan. Saturday’s Daytona night race concluded the regular NASCAR Cup Series season and a total of 16 drivers will advance to the playoffs next week at Darlington.
“Congratulations to Ryan, Todd, Roger, and the entire No. 12 crew on two wins in a row and finishing out the regular season strong,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “This was a battle to the end, but Ryan and Todd were able to navigate through the field and earn the well-deserved checkered flag.”
“Momentum is what everything is all about.  Confidence is key and we came into this weekend very confident after last week with our heads held high.  They’ll be a little bit higher this week, so I look forward to getting to Darlington,” commented Blaney.
Ryan Newman with Roush Fenway Racing finished P3, B.J. McLeod with Live Fast Motorsports finished P9, and Josh Bilicki with Rick Ware Racing finished P10.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced Saturday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway while two Ford Performance teammates finished in the top 15 as Riley Herbst with Stewart-Haas Racing finished in P10 and Jason White with Ryan-Sieg Racing finished P15.
POWERING THE PLAYOFFS
Six drivers powered by Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines earned a spot in the NASCAR Cup series playoffs: Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, and Kevin Harvick.
 
RYAN BLANEY - TIED FOR 2ND 
Ryan Blaney earned his spot in the playoffs after winning at Atlanta, Michigan, and this past weekend at Daytona. This year marks his 5th consecutive season in the playoffs. Earlier in the year, Blaney led 157 of 500 laps at Martinsville and looks forward to leveraging his knowledge and success at this track on October 31st.  Blaney also has won at Talladega and looks forward to this superspeedway race on October 3rd.

JOEY LOGANO - #9

Joey Logano earned a spot in the playoffs after winning the inaugural race at the Bristol Dirt track in March. This year he has had 8 Top 5's and 13 Top 10's. Logano is a 27-time Cup winner and previous NCS champion. He is one of only a handful of drivers with at least four Championship 4 appearances and aims to advance this year as well.

BRAD KESELOWSKI - #10
Brad Keselowski earned his spot in the playoffs after winning at Talladega in April. Keselowski has had a lot of success at Talladega: this track marked his first Cup series win and a total of 6 wins at this track. He looks to use this experience when the series visits on October 3rd. In total, Brad has 35 Cup series victories and has been to the playoffs 9 times in the past 10 years. After finishing 2nd at last year’s championship, Brad is eager to take another swing at the top spot this year.
 
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MICHAEL MCDOWELL - TIED FOR 12TH
Michael McDowell earned his spot after capturing a win at the Daytona 500 season-opener in February. This win marked the first time that a Ford Mustang won the infamous race. 2021 marks his 14th season in the Cup series and winning one of the series’ biggest races was a defining moment in his career. McDowell is fast at superspeedways and road courses and looks forward to racing at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval in the playoffs.
ARIC ALMIROLA - TIED FOR 12TH
Aric Almirola shook up the playoff picture late in the season by winning at New Hampshire and clinched his playoff spot. This year marks his 4th year in the playoffs after making it 3 years in a row in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Almirola has been fast at superspeedways with 8 consecutive top 10’s at Talladega and looks to use his experience when the series visits the track.
KEVIN HARVICK - #16
Kevin Harvick clinched his playoff spot based on points. Harvick has 119 combined series wins which makes him 3rd all-time in NASCAR history. Last year, he won a career-high 9 races and led over 1500 laps. He was the top seeded driver heading into the playoffs last year and will use that experience to his advantage. This year, he has had 6 top 5 finishes and 16 top 10 finishes. Harvick holds the all-time record for Cup series wins at Phoenix and looks forward to the playoff-closing race.
 

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