Ryan Blaney Advances To The Round Of 8 Following Photo Finish Win At Talladegaby Camille Jones October 14, 2019 0 comments
TALLADEGA, Ala. – In a photo finish at the line, Ryan Blaney held off Ryan Newman to claim the win in the rain-postponed 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The race began on Sunday afternoon as scheduled, before a long afternoon of rain swept through the area following the end of Stage 1, forcing NASCAR to postpone the event to Monday afternoon.
Blaney won the race by a .007-second margin over Newman, earning his first victory of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and locking himself into the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs. The exciting finish rewarded the fans who stuck it out through the rain-postponed event.
“Yeah, I mean, an amazing effort the last two days, to be honest with you,” said Blaney. “From spinning out early yesterday, missing some big ones today, weave our way through. I can’t thank Aric (Almirola) at the end for helping me out. That big push that Newman and the 11 (Denny Hamlin) got, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to block it. They were coming so fast, they would have split me. I wanted to stay to the bottom. I kind of pulled the 11 off of the 6 there. Just had a big enough run to get to the 6. We kind of hit above the line, kind of pushed me below the line. That’s a big judgment call. You never know. I definitely wasn’t going to go below the line before we hit, made contact.
Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Ford for Team Penske continued and said, “I can’t say enough about this Dent Wizard team. Super fun the last couple days. Moving on, pretty cool.”
Newman earned his 12th top-10 finish of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with his second-place finish at Talladega.
“That’s special to just have a good run,” Newman said. “We had a good team effort today. Overcame a lot of obstacles. Cars flying on top of us, all that stuff. Just proud of the team. Upset, disappointed we didn’t close it out. But we survived it. That’s a big part of this deal.”
Denny Hamlin was able to claim the third finishing position with an abundance of repaired damage at the end of the race. Hamlin was involved in a crash on lap 108 before recovering to earn a strong finish.
“I was just trying to play chess out there,” Hamlin said. “I knew my odds and percentages with the wrecks. I knew once my competitiors started to fall there, I knew that I had to be smart. I just knew the end of these races usually end up like a crashfest and I was just going to take all the crash positions I could get once I got back on the lead lap. Once I saw that the percentage was better for me to go race up front for the win versus just taking the end of the lead lap even if we were to crash, I knew it was in my best interest to try to go there at the end and we almost won it anyway.”
Aric Almirola earned a fourth-place finish on Monday, followed by Michael McDowell in fifth. Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Ty Dillon completed the top10.
As expected over the course of 188 laps around Talladega Superspeedway, several large crashes, known as “The Big One” took place, collecting many cars. There were nine cautions for a total of 43 laps under yellow, including three major crashes that took out some of the race’s biggest contenders.
Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney both punched their tickets to the Round of 8 with wins at Dover International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, respectively. Denny Hamlin currently leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings by eight points over Martin Truex Jr.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will visit Kanas Speedway on Sunday, October 20 for the third and final race of the Round of 12. Live coverage of the Hollywood Casino 400 will broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images