Blaney Survives to Win at Talladega
Ryan Blaney survived three big ones to take the checkered flag in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
After rain began to fall at the end of the first stage on Sunday afternoon, the race was postponed to Monday afternoon. Ryan Blaney spun on pit road and got hit with speeding penalty on Sunday, but used the postponed race to redeem himself.
The No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford stayed in the top 10 for the most of the day. Blaney led three different times for a combined total of 35 laps led. He managed to be in the right place at the right time when three different big ones occurred around him, escaping unscathed.
With less than 15 laps to go at Talladega, the field began to scramble resulting in an 11-car crash in Turn 3. Brendan Gaughan went upside down as many of the playoff contenders that were racing for those playoff points saw their day come to am end. When the green flag waved, Blaney was on the move to the front.
Before the race got underway, all manufacturers met to talk to the drivers to discuss manufacturer teammates getting banding together to push one another to the front. The Ford camp certainly listened and it paid off in the end.
In the closing laps, Ryan Newman got a big push, rocketing him passed Ryan Blaney. Aric Almirola drove to Blaney's bumper and gave him the push that ultimately got him the win. Blaney took the checkered flag by 0.007 seconds over Newman, making it the sixth-closest finish in series history.
“We spun out early yesterday and missed some big ones today. We were able to weave our way through. I can’t thank Aric Almirola enough for helping me out there at the end.”
The No. 12 Dent Wizard Ford drove to victory lane for the first time this season, locking Ryan Blaney into the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Michael McDowell rounded out the Top 5 at Talladega Superspeedway. After a series of accidents, Bowman, Elliott, Bowyer and Byron have found themselves in a must-win situation at Kansas Speedway.
Catch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in action again next week at Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 20 at 2:30PM ET on NBC.
Tire Dragon To Be Run Before Quaker State 400
SPARTA, Ky-- Before and after the Alsco 300, Kentucky Speedway, and NASCAR deemed it necessary to run the tire dragon in the middle groove, after complaints from the drivers.
Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney are two of the handful of drivers that will run in tonight’s Quaker State 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“When I lost the lead on that last restart - when I slid up in three I didn’t wreck and I think I would have wrecked if the Tire Dragon wasn’t brought out. I was up in that third lane. I think that kind of saved me a little bit. I thought that was good. I saw that move made a couple times in the Truck race and people spun out. I didn’t see that today. I saw a lot of cars get loose and slide up to that lane and it kind of caught halfway and they were able to keep going,” said Blaney, who finished second in the Alsco 300. “Hopefully that will help out. I ran kind of high in one and two coming back through the field and it seemed to have some grip like half a lane up. It didn’t hurt at all getting that Tire Dragon out this morning. Hopefully tonight the Cup cars will get really slick on the bottom and we will be forced to move around. That is usually what happens and I am hopeful for that.”
“Yeah, until they oil down the backstretch and that lane getting into turn three, I thought the track was really racey. Hopefully they can burn that in a little bit more down the backstretch and that quick dry that they put down in order to take up some of that oil, they can burn that off and get it back to black instead of white. After that, it got to being about one groove again and I didn’t see anybody widening it out,” said Kyle Busch, Also 300 race winner. “You were afraid to get into the white stuff because the car will just take off up the race track on you. The other thing I saw was the race track was really good in one and two, it got really wide and definitely nothing out there to race in, but at least it’s safe if you do slip and get out there and you can still catch your car. There’s room for lapped cars to go out there and not feel that they’re going to crash. They were pretty mindful of the leaders today and we’ll see how all that goes tonight.
Running the tire dragon in the middle groove of the racetrack is reversal from Thursday afternoon!
"I think we know what we're doing," Steve Swift told NBC Sports in a Thursday interview.
The vice president of operations and development for Speedway Motorsports Inc. said they ran the tire dragon here at Kentucky Speedway after an overwhelming positive response from driver’s after the 2016 event.
"I think what a lot of drivers are forgetting is this track was resurfaced," Swift said. "It's a brand new racetrack. So on a new track, you have to put rubber down in what is the groove, not what you want the groove to be."
Track officials plan to run an eight-foot-side section in the middle of the turns, working upwards.
Ky. Busch Wins From Pole At Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky-- From starting from the pole, Kyle Busch was victorious in the Alsco 300 from Kentucky Speedway.
“It’s nice to get to victory lane anytime you can. It’s been a heck of the year on the bad end for us. It’s nice to have this as a turn around. The Camry’s have been fast all year long. It’s fun to have the opportunity to run in this series, I enjoy it,” said Kyle Busch in victory lane.
This is the second win in a row at Kentucky Speedway in the July race. This is his 88th career win and 35th win from the pole.
After an outside tire violation on the final pit stop, Ryan Blaney was able to pass Erik Jones in the closing laps to finish in the second position,
“I didn’t really have a lot of fun but it was nice to have a good race car that we could pick our way through the field. We got it really good at the end. We were good all day. I thought we were the best car all day, personally. Before that last caution. I thought we were going to get by the 20 and set sail. The caution came out and we were debating on whether to pit or not, said Blaney. "It is easy to look back on it now and say that we should have stayed out and seen what happened. I thought the right call was to pit and we just had a violation. That stings. It almost stings worse running all the way up there and finishing second than if we would have finished 10th or something. Not where we wanted to be but hopefully we learned some stuff for tonight. It is fun to have this double-header. It is disappointing. I think you have to look at the positives and know we had a really fast car and that is something to build off of.”
After being passed by Blaney in the closing laps and running up front for majority of the race, E. Jones finished in the third position.
Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-10.
There were seven lead changes among four drivers. The caution flew eight times for 44 laps. The time of the race was two hours, 30 minutes, and 56 seconds. The average speedway 119.258 mph.
Next up for the Xfinity Series is a trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Overton's 200 on July 15th. The race will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network at 4:00 p.m EDT
Busch, Others Slated To Run Double-Duty Saturday
SPARTA, Ky-- For Kyle Busch, 700 miles of racing will ensue on Saturday from Kentucky Speedway.
With the postponement of the NASCAR Xfintiy Series Also 300, Busch, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, and Ty Dillon are also slated to run in the Alsco 300.
“It’s going to be challenging and especially during the day. We weren’t anticipating a day race so that’s going to make for a crazy event, that’s for sure,” said Busch.
Because teams were unable to get practice sessions in on Thursday, teams practiced at 8:30 p.m. EDT this morning.
“We practiced early this morning and I felt like it was a really good practice session for what we needed to do at night because the track was cool and it wasn’t hot and heated up like it was later on this afternoon,” said Busch. “Qualifying was a handful, it was way different than what we had all this morning in practice so that’s going to make it a handful tomorrow. Who’s going to be the best guy to adjust all that for having a fast car and making sure their car sticks well is going to win.”
For drivers pulling double-duty, preparation for afternoon and evening conditions begin tonight.
“It’s going to be tough for sure. I’m not exactly sure how to handle it yet, but it’s certainly not the circumstances I would have liked to have been in, but we got what we got and I’ll try to prepare as best as I can tonight and get as many fluids as I can tonight and then make sure you keep drinking and keep the fluids going for tomorrow,” said Ky. Busch. “It’s just a matter of making sure you don’t get yourself too dehydrated and start to cramp up and things like that. It’s going to make for a long day for sure if it’s going to be 95 degrees and hot and sunny during the first one and it will make the second one at night a little better. Still going to be a long, long day.”
Temperatures for the Also 300 are slated to be in the mid-70s, while the Quaker State 400 temperature is slated to be in the mid-to-upper 70s.
Green flag for the Alsco 300 is schedule to fly shortly after 12:00 p.m. EDT and the green flag for the Quaker State 400 is slated for 7:45 p.m. EDT.
Blaney Scores First MENCS Victory at Pocono
After having radio issues for majority of the day, Ryan Blaney scored his first career victory at Pocono Raceway in the Axalta Presents The Poconos 400.
“I think it exceeds the dream a little bit. I grew up watching my dad race on this race track and it’s so cool to get the Wood Brothers in victory lane, number one, and to do it here at a race track that is really close to Ohio – a home to me – is pretty awesome,” said Blaney.
This is the Wood Brothers first victory since the 2011 Daytona 500. Blaney becomes the seventh different driver to score his first career victory with the Wood Brothers. This weekend marks the 99th victory for the team.
With 10 laps remaining, Blaney had a charge on then race-winner, Kyle Busch, with fresher tires. Busch tried to block Blaney on the front stretch and on the short-stretch, but Blaney was able to pass Busch. While Blaney and Busch were battling for the lead, Kevin Harvick was able to work his way to Blaney, but was unable to pass him in the remaining laps. Harvick was better than Blaney in the second turn, but was no match for Blaney on the rest of the track.
After having brake and engine issues early on in the race, Harvick was able to finish the race in the second position.
“I missed a shift from third-to-second and I have to thank the Roush Yates Engine shop for building a pretty sturdy engine because it should have blown up and it never blowed up,” said Harvick after rallying for a second place finish to winner Ryan Blaney,” said Harvick. “I had a tough time driving in the corner all day. We never could stop like we needed to all weekend, so you just had to be really careful with the brakes. If I'd over-drive it for a lap or two, the pedal would start going down, and then I was really at a deficit. So, I had to be very aware of where I let off every lap.”
After running up front for majority of the race, Erik Jones was able to finish in the third position for his best career Cup finish.
“Just happy, happy that we finally get a finish that we deserve. We ran top-five most of the day and had good strategy and it worked out. The last restart played out right into our hands and got it during the third (stage) and knew we had to hold those guys off and we’d be just fine,” said E. Jones. “It’s exciting, happy we had a fast race car. Wish we had a little bit faster one and then we could have gone up there and raced for it, but definitely a good day for us.”
Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Ky. Busch, and Matt Kenseth rounded-out the top-10.
Truex Jr maintains the points lead by one point over Larson. Harvick is 144 points behind Truex in third, Ky. Busch is 121 points behind the leader. and Keselowski rounds out the top-five in points only 130 points behind Truex.
Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is a trip to Michigan International Raceway for the FireKeepers Casino 400. The race will run on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network with green flag flying shortly after 3:00 p.m. EDT.