Blaney Wins at Martinsville and Advances to Championship 4

NKP #12: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Discount Tire Ford Mustang, Capgemini

  • Ryan Blaney won his third race of the season and 10th of his career today.
  • As a result, Blaney advances to the Championship 4 for the first time in his career.
  • Blaney’s three wins this season matches a career-best, equaling the three he won in 2018.
  • Today’s win is Ford’s 728th all-time in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
  • Of Team Penske’s 93 NCS wins with Ford, 66 have come since 2013.


1st – Ryan Blaney

2nd – Aric Almirola

4th – Chase Briscoe

5th – Joey Logano

8th – Chris Buescher

9th – Austin Cindric

10th – Todd Gilliland

15th – Harrison Burton

16th – Kevin Harvick

20th – Ryan Preece

25th – Michael McDowell

29th – Ryan Newman

33rd – Brad Keselowski

35th – JJ Yeley

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW – WELCOME TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DOING IT AT YOUR HOME TRACK? “It’s awesome. I grew up in High Point, not too far from here. High Point is closer to Martinsville than it is to Charlotte, so it’s really cool. I’ve been wanting to win here for a long time. We’ve been super close for many years and awesome to close it out.”

HOW DID TEAM PENSKE COME TO LIFE IN THE PLAYOFFS? “I thought we put together a really strong playoffs, especially the Round of 8. We had a good Round of 8, so just really proud of the whole effort. Proud to have Discount Tire on the car, Menards, Ford, Advance Auto Parts, Body Armor. RP couldn’t be here unfortunately, but I know he’s watching and this is awesome stuff. I can’t wait to get to Phoenix next week.”

CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Nexletol Ford Mustang – “It was a fantastic job all around. We needed a little bit more obviously to win this thing and move on. We knew that was gonna be the case, but I’m extremely proud of our year all things considered. We knew coming into this that as long as I felt like I got out of the car and couldn’t walk anymore and nobody felt like we left anything on the table, then it’s all something to be proud of and I certainly am. It’s a bummer we don’t get to go to the next round, but we’ll take what we’ve done from this year, stack it up and hit the ground running for next season.”

THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT IN YOU WAS THERE? “That was it. I was trying. We took two and got a lot of track position and we stayed with it so good for so long and just kind of got right down there to the end and we lost some left-rear grip and some drive in it. That made it tough to battle back, but I’m proud of the call and proud of everything we did. I’m proud of this pit crew. I’m proud of this team. I’m proud of getting this Nexletol Ford Mustang a top 10. Statistically, we get to change our numbers here at Martinsville at least and say we’re capable of doing this. Now we just have to prove it next time.”

YOU TALKED ABOUT NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT. YOU FEEL YOU ACCOMPLISHED THAT? “Yeah, certainly. We made a lot of progress today and moved forward a long ways from where we started, so I’m very proud of it. I just wanted more, but I don’t think any of us will stand here right now and say we didn’t give it our all. I’m pretty satisfied with that part, but we wanted to go onto that next round. This round just didn’t do it for us. We didn’t quite hit everything on the head.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang – WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS? “Sad. Honestly, I’m just sad. We had a good car. We just fought track position. Qualifying kind of set us behind and then when we finally cycled to the front and got track position we had a great race car. Man, I was being so patient and taking care of my tires. I wasn’t slipping a tire. I wasn’t doing anything to hurt my tires and they just started to give up on me there towards the end, and the 12, his car would hold on a little longer. I’m not sure if he was on four tires or two tires. We were on two tires with some pretty old lefts, so I don’t know if that was the difference or not. I’m just really proud and really proud of this team. I wanted that one so bad. I got my family here. My grandparents here that helped me get my start in racing. I wanted so bad to celebrate with my family in victory lane.”

YOU LAP TRAFFIC IS GOING TO BE AN ISSUE HERE. HOW WAS IT TRYING TO HOLD OFF BLANEY? “Yeah, it’s an issue. It’s so hard to pass. I was trying to be patient with it. I was trying to be patient with Reddick and those guys because I didn’t want to burn my stuff up and, I don’t know. I honestly don’t think there’s anything I could do different. His car was just better than mine there at the end on the long run. His rear tires just kind of stayed with him better than mine.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – “It was absolutely a long day, but I’m proud of the team with a top five and Blaney getting into the Championship 4. You’ve got to be proud of that as well. He had a great car and a great weekend, so good for him and we’ll go to Phoenix for one more race.”

HOW CAN YOU HELP RYAN GOING INTO THIS NEXT WEEK? YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE? “I’ll just be a sounding board for him. That’s really all you can do. I’ve gone through it five or six times and there’s nothing like championship weekend. The pressure is on. It’s definitely different and feels different. It affects people in different ways, but he showed today that he lived up to the pressure and I wouldn’t expect anything less next week.”

RYAN PREECE, No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang – “We had a really strong day for our 41 team. We qualified in the top 10 which was great because track position just means everything here. When the race started, it felt like all the drive we had in practice yesterday was gone. Our car was free but still really good so I only wanted minor adjustments and we were able to finish eighth in Stage 1. We got more dialed in during Stage 2 and before the conclusion of the stage, we were the best we had been and finished seventh there. Everyone had a different strategy there in the final stage. We took four tires on pit road and had to restart deeper than we would have liked. Just couldn’t rally back to the top 10 after that and the traffic made it even worse. We had a good car capable of being in the top 10. Wish it shook out that way at the end but we’ll head to Phoenix looking to end the season on a high note.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14 Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang – “Overall, it was a good day. We were right inside the top five for a large majority of the day and that’s what we need to do. We need to consistently be running up front. We definitely have a good package every time we come here and we just need to get it a little better. I feel if we do that, we’ll be right there with a chance for the win. This was a definite step forward.”

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