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Kickin The Tires

Promising day for Ryan Blaney ends early at Bristol

Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer 

Ryan Blaney entered Sunday’s Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with back to back finishes of third under his belt.

He looked poised to check that first win of the season off — until a spin would change everything.

Blaney’s No. 12 Menards/Richmond Water Heaters Ford Mustang rolled off in the fourth position for the 500-lap event and was strong from the get-go.

Not far into the race on lap 20, the competition caution waved with Blaney running solidly in third with his teammate Brad Keselowski leading.

Bristol is known for constant position battling and sheet metal battle wounds. Blaney would acquire some wounds on lap 43.

A battle for fifth and sixth saw the No. 12 sustain a little damage when the No. 47 of Ricky (Stenhouse) got into the back of his Ford.

The damage didn’t seem to affect the speed of the 12-car however as he captured the lead from Keselowski on lap 84.

Blaney would finish Stage 1 in the second position but during Stage 2 that’s when bad luck would come into play.

In a battle for the second position, the No. 12 spun in turn 2 on lap 198. However, to make matters worse, the No. 13 of Ty Dillon crashed into the nose of the 12. 

“I was running up there for a little and didn’t think I was that high. All of a sudden I hit a slick spot. I might have just been trying to get too much and got in the marbles and spun out.”

The damage was too much and Blaney found himself done for the day and left with a 40th place finish. 

“I thought we were gonna be okay and then we got destroyed about six seconds later, so that’s just [Bristol] and a part of Bristol,” said Blaney. “I probably shouldn’t have been pushing that hard, but trying to get back to the lead. Thought we found some speed up there, just a mistake on my part.”

“I hate it for Menards and Richmond and everybody on this 12 team. After having two strong weeks, you go and you wreck not even halfway, so that’s just a bummer.  We’ll go to Atlanta and see what we can do.”

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