Points leader Blaney sees his day end early in Phoenix

If it wasn’t for bad luck Ryan Blaney would seem to have no luck at all.  The NASCAR Cup points leader coming into the day, Blaney was running inside the top 10 shortly after a restart on lap 63.

It all came to an end on lap 65.

While racing behind Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski entering turn 3. Keselowski came down into Hamlin sending Hamlin back up into Blaney who was then sent into the wall.

Hamlin and Keselowski had minimal damage are were able to continue.  Blaney’s Ford however had too much damage and he was forced to the garage and suffered his first DNF since Dover last fall.

“From the car I couldn’t really see. A couple of us were three-wide,” Blaney said. “I was happy to be on the top. I thought we were going to roll the top pretty good through three and four there. It looks like the 11 tried to send it in there below the 2 and got loose and hit him and then overcorrected and got us. We got up in the dirt and we just ran right into the fence. Just an innocent bystander there.”

Indeed, Blaney was swept up in a crash he had really nothing to do with.  And after starting the season strong with a second place Daytona, Blaney has finished seventh in Las Vegas, and 19th last week in California but was arguably in contention for the win each week. Only to see those chances end seemingly through no fault of his own.

“It sucks to have it end so early like that and have that happen so early in the race,” Blaney said. “I do really hate it for Menards and Tarkett and Ford. We didn’t even have a chance to work on our car. We weren’t great the first run but we made a big swing at it and we don’t know how that change was. It stinks when you are taken out like that. We will just go on to Atlanta and see what we can do.”