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Ryan Blaney & the No.12 Team Penske crew followed up what the top drivers did with strategy but not much rear grip saw him finish 12th at Watkins Glen

Ryan Blaney came on race day today with high expectations set for him & the No.12 Team Penske crew.

With a respectable performance during qualifying, he hopes to build on finishing off with a positive outcome needed at Watkins Glen.

Let’s see how Blaney fared inside the No.12 Ford Fusion from start to finish.

Race Recap

Ryan Blaney started from 11th where he got off okay up to 7th.

But most of the time, his No.12 car didn’t have the maximum rear grip as he took an air pressure adjustment en route to his first stop.

Never mind this stage as he & Jeremy Bullins are using this strategy to pit before the pit road window shuts down & then stay out for the next restart in 26th.

Stage 2

Even though they tried to use this tactic to gather a bit of momentum, the No.12 car’s set-up runs likewise during the 1st stage.

He didn’t pit during this installment as Blaney rounded out 9th where he picked up two stage points.

Stage 3

He & the No.12 crew looked on hoping to strengthen the car up with an air pressure adjustment en route to the next restart.

They tried everything as possible to move up places including the appropriate treatment added during the final pit stop under caution halfway of Stage 3.

However, it’s miserable to hear for the second time this week that the lack of rear grip held Blaney up.

It did cost him a Top 10 place where he finished 12th.

Ryan Blaney’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season

  • 22 Starts
  • 5314 of 5962 Laps Completed, 89.1%
  • 464 Laps Led
  • Highest Starting Spot: 1st, Las Vegas in March 2018
  • Best Finish: 2nd, Kentucky in July 2018
  • Four Top 5, 18.2%
  • Ten Top 10 finishes, 45.5%
  • Average Start: 9.8 & Finish: 16
  • DNFs: Four, Crash (Bristol, Kansas & Daytona 2) & Engine (Charlotte).
  • He currently sits 10th in the Drivers’ Standings with 639 points.

Results

  • 7th, Daytona 500
  • 12th, Atlanta
  • 5th, Las Vegas
  • 16th, Phoenix
  • 8th, Fontana
  • 3rd, Martinsville
  • 5th, Texas
  • 35th, Bristol
  • 22nd, Richmond
  • 18th, Talladega
  • 8th, Dover
  • 37th, Kansas
  • 36th, Charlotte
  • 6th, Pocono
  • 8th, Michigan
  • 34th, Sonoma
  • 18th, Chicagoland
  • 40th, Daytona
  • 2nd, Kentucky
  • 7th, New Hampshire
  • 12th, Pocono 2 & Watkins Glen

Conclusion

The No.12 crew followed up the specific race tactics based on what some of the other Top 10 drivers with the right equipment have done.

They didn’t worry about Stage 1 too much as they stopped before the pit window closed.

At least Blaney picked up two stage points during the 2nd segment in 9th.

But most of the time, the No.12 Ford Fusion didn’t have the maximum rear grip needed to help Blaney challenge the Top 7 cars.

Very painful to say that this is the second straight week now that he hasn’t yet scored a Top 10 finish since finishing 7th at New Hampshire a fortnight ago.

They’ve got to find a lot of questions as to why the No.12 car isn’t Top 5 material when they return to the Team Penske Race Shop tomorrow.

Ryan Blaney and the No.12 crew may have got past the finish line as the highest placed Team Penske car.

But without a Top 10 and the car doesn’t have significant enough speed, it hurts and not favorable to say much.

Next week, he & the No.12 crew are hoping to tell a different story and strengthen his Playoff chances when they head to Michigan.

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Feature Image: Nigel Kinrade Photography/Team Penske and Statistics: Racing Reference.

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