Ryan Blaney is happy that Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 was a marathon and not a sprint. That’s because his No. 12 Ford was terrible at the start of the day. However, 4 hours, 21 minutes and 53 seconds on the track after the green flag was blown, Blaney retired to the pit lane with a 4th place finish in Texas.
It’s one he’ll take after where this day began.
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“It was certainly a long night. It didn’t start well at all,” said the Team Penske driver. “We got better and better all night and during the day we were able to win a stage and work our way back from quite a distance back in the pack there that last run to move into fourth.
“I thought our Mustang was probably the best car in the end. We just couldn’t pass anyone. Overall not a bad night. A pretty wild night. Fortunately, we were able to put in a solid race.”
Blaney said his car was out of control in stage 1. He would finish 20th in it after going to the pits towards the end of the opening segment of the series. But they never stopped trying to make it better. He was in clean air on the second stage and with clean air and all the changes made in the first half of the race, his car finally came to him.
He would take a stage win and 10 much-needed points. Although it took him on track position to start the last stage in the sense that he needed more gas than others, which would cost him more time on the pit lane compared to others, he still finished 9th.
Saving one last chaotic stage, he would finish with his 4th top 5 of his career in Texas and the best finish since coming home 3rd in Nashville in late June.