Blaney advances in playoffs with narrow Talladega win

Tanya Simon
October 17, 2019

Wyndham Rewards sponsored driver Ryan Newman was the second-place finisher.

Only Larson is locked into the next round of the playoffs after his victory last week at Dover. Ryan Blaney led more laps (15) in Stage 1 than anybody, but he spun on pit road entry during a green-flag stop before finishing the stage in 10th.

"There was no blocking the 6 and the 11, they were coming so fast, so I made a decision to stay with Aric", Blaney said. Approaching the line, the two cars were door-to-door, a real-life, 200-mph advertisement for the racing adage "rubbing is racing".

Dickies will appear on Blaney's No. 12 Ford Mustang with their iconic logo on the hood and a dark blue denim color covering the Penske Racing machine. Following next week's race at Kansas Speedway, the playoff field will be trimmed to eight drivers, including Blaney and Kyle Larson, who won the first Round of 12 event at Dover International Speedway on October 6.

After the win, Blaney thanked his team and talked about the important of this race. "We've been wanting to win races all year".

NASCAR's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has resumed after rain pushed it back a day to Monday. Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet have mandated brand alliance at Talladega and Daytona, where drivers work together in the draft to navigate through traffic.

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"Yeah, it was an awesome effort the last two days to be honest with you", Blaney said.

Hamlin gave Newman a huge push on the outside, and it allowed Newman to pull in front of Blaney for the lead as they came down the front straightaway. It just means a ton.

"I'm really proud of the effort. Love it even more now". Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and William Byron are all below the cutline, as is Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who could be eliminated at his home track. "I shouldn't have blocked".

Jimmie Johnson led two laps, while several drivers, including Austin Dillon, Landon Cassill, Chris Buescher, Daniel Hemric, Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones, and Austin Theriault each led one lap. Almirola finished fourth in a Ford, followed by Michael McDowell, Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Elliot, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon. "I threw a block", he said. I got to drive for the Wood Brothers here. They just had a bigger run than I realized. I could have pinched him some more, I probably could have took the air, you could go back and bench race for three weeks from now.

Pole victor William Byron saw his playoff hopes take a hit when he turned to the right off Kurt Busch's front bumper and drove Logano's No. 22 Ford into the wall on lap 162.

Byron's crash occurred when he lost control following a push from Kurt Busch. Races at Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway will decide the Championship 4 that will vie in a one-race shootout for the series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17.

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