Blaney gambles, but two-tire call "not enough" to advance

Ryan Blaney's No. 12 Team Penske team rolled the dice in the closing laps at ISM Raceway in an effort to steal the race win.

Blaney gambles, but two-tire call "not enough" to advance

Blaney ran solidly and inside the top-five for the majority of Sunday's race, but he would still need to win in order to advance into the Championship 4.

When a caution flew with less than ten laps to go, the No. 12 team saw an opportunity and tried to seize it. With a two-tire call, he restarted on the front row and to the inside of race leader Denny Hamlin, another driver in a must-win situation.

The field fanned out through the dogleg and Blaney found himself three-wide entering Turn 1, unable to hold position as Hamlin and Busch got away. Despite finishing third, it wasn't enough to keep his title hopes alive.

"I felt like I got an okay start," he said of the final restart. "It's really hard for the guy on the bottom on the front row to accelerate and turn down the hill. It's the way it's shaped. It's kind of tough, especially on two. But I don't know, you can always get a better start, right?  I thought I got an okay start, but the 18 got a better one and got inside of me, and honestly the top is so dominant, especially if you're on two, you're kind of just sliding up from the bottom, and he was obviously the best car all day. Just needed the lead and I might have been able to pinch him through 1 and 2, and you never know.  But it's not enough."

Blaney is still in a position to earn his best points result of his career entering the finale, but looking towards next year, the 25-year-old believes he needs to focus more on accumulating points during the regular season.

"You try to build off of what you learn and everything like that. Just a matter of gaining bonus points throughout the year, he said. "I look back and that's the one thing that hurt us. We didn't win races throughout the year in the regular season. That hurts you. You don't have any cushion to lay back on. Especially when you get in these round of eights and everyone is really good and they've got a bunch of bonus points, it's hard to make it up."

Joe Gibbs Racing has three drivers in the final four with Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Hamlin. They will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick.

Read Also:


shares
comments
Logano eliminated: "Just wasn’t our year to make it, I guess"

Previous article

Logano eliminated: "Just wasn’t our year to make it, I guess"

Next article

Why Truex raced 'old car' at Phoenix with 'half a team'

Why Truex raced 'old car' at Phoenix with 'half a team'
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Phoenix II
Author Nick DeGroot
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020