Rookies Elliott and Blaney shine at Phoenix

Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliot race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.
Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliot race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.
Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliot race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.

Two of NASCAR’s future stars showed they have what it takes to make it to the top Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Ryan Blaney driving for the legendary Wood Brothers and Chase Elliott who took over the iconic no. 24 Chevy from NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon both survived an overtime finish to record top 10 finishes for the second time this season.

Blaney, who came into the race leading the Rookie of the Year standings, started 12th.  He struggled with handling issues during the first half of the 312 laps. His crew was able to make adjustments however and crew chief Jeremy Bullins changed the team’s last pit stop from a four-tire to a two-tire stop on the fly putting Blaney in position to make a run when he came off pit road in 12th. Blaney was able to charge up two spots during the final two laps of overtime to finish 10th.

“That wasn’t bad,” Blaney said.

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About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.