Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney won Sunday’s YellaWood 500, earning a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8. This past weekend’s win marked Blaney’s second win of the season, third at Talladega, and ninth of his career. Ford has now won 10 playoff races at Talladega, making it the most of any track.
“Congratulations to Roger, Tim, Ryan, Jonathan, and everyone at Team Penske and Ford Performance on the race win at Talladega,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “The Ford Performance Mustangs were fast in qualifying and Ryan wheeled the 12 car into victory lane, what an incredible finish!”
“I’m just proud of the whole 12 group. Pennzoil, Menards, BodyArmor, Dex Imaging, Advance Auto Parts, Wurth, everybody who makes this possible. To win here three times at Talladega is super cool. I have to give a big thanks to Riley Herbst. He did a really good job there the last couple restarts. He doesn’t have a lot of Cup starts, but he did a great job and pushed me so thanks to him. This is so cool.” commented Blaney.
Fast Ford Mustangs started the weekend off strong as Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola was the fastest in qualifying, followed by Team Penske’s Joey Logano in P2, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Brisoce in P3, along with four other Ford Performance drivers that qualified in the top-10 on Saturday.
Sunday’s race consisted of two 60-lap stages followed by a final 68 laps around the 2.66-mile oval superspeedway. Stage 1 ended with Ryan Blaney out front to take the Stage 1 win under caution. A last lap push at the end of Stage 2 helped RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski win the stage, gaining valuable playoff points. Throughout the race there were a total of 70 lead changes among 24 drivers, with Team Penske’s Joey Logano leading the most with 24 laps. Several cars were collected in a wreck late in Stage 3, which brought out the red flag to repair the SAFER barrier before final pit stops of the day. In the final stretch of the race, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick took the lead twice as it was a fierce battle with Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney. Harvick and Blaney crossed the finish line side by side in a photo finish, with Blaney taking the win by 0.012 seconds.
A total of four Ford Performance drivers finished in the top-10: Team Penske’s Austin Cindric in P5, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Preece in P8, and Front Row Motorsports’ Riley Herbst in P9.
Both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series head to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval road course in Concord, North Carolina this weekend where each playoff field gets narrowed down to the Round of 8.