Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Ford Mustang for Team Penske, scored the win after leading 201 of the 350 laps at the Iowa Speedway. 

Blaney, who has family in the Iowa area near the speedway, talked about what this win meant to him personally. 

“My family was able to be here for my Truck win in 2012, and my Xfinity win in 2015. I was happy to get them all across the racetrack to victory lane. I didn’t know how we were going to do that. It means a lot to me and this win stands out.” 

It didn’t come easy, as nine other drivers made their way to the lead at the ⅞’s of a mile speedway, including guys like No. 5 Kyle Larson, No. 9 Chase Elliott, and even the No. 4 of Josh Berry. Larson was involved in a crash with the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin on lap 221, after leading 80 laps of the event. 

Larson, furious on the radio stated, “Can you ask Denny what the f***? I mean, what the f***!” Larson’s Crew Chief, Cliff Daniels, calmed Larson down by saying, “We have to let it go. We have the fastest car in the field, and we’re gonna let that go.” Unfortunately for the Hendrick Motorsports team, Larson fell 31 laps down, and was out of contention for the win in the event. 

Josh Berry, who led 32 laps Sunday evening, was asked if tires were on his mind all night, after five cars had tire blowouts during Friday’s 50 minute practice session. Berry, who has Rodney Childers and his 20 years of experience up top on the pit box, felt confident in him making the right calls. 

“I told Rodney that I trusted his instincts, and his instincts told him four tires was the right call. The final restart just didn’t go our way to get up front. In hindsight, I should have chosen to be in third in the inside lane instead of sixth on the outside.” 

Blaney said that the thought of tires were on the back of his mind. 

“Even with a run of 85 laps under green, I would think in my mind that someone could blow a tire. I think the night time helped hold everything off with the tire blowouts. With the No. 2 car (Austin Cindric, his teammate) blowing a tire in practice, we were able to learn from that and know that we were going to be okay.” 

It took a total time of three hours and 12 seconds to complete 250 laps around the Iowa Speedway, with only two cars not being able to finish (No. 16 A.J. ALlmendinger with a tire failure, and No. 8 of Kyle Busch with a mechanical failure.) There were 16 lead changes from nine different drivers, and only eight cautions to slow the race down with an average speed of 130.386 MPH. 

Next week, the NASCAR Cup Series will compete at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the USA Today 301. That race will be carried live on Sunday, June 23rd, at 2:30 p.m. Est on USA, PRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. 

Kaleb Vestal
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