Ryan Blaney’s hopes for a Coke 600 repeat get blown

Last year’s Coca-Cola 600 winner saw his hopes for repeat come to an end early Sunday night. Ryan Blaney started 16th and was holding his own, finishing Stage 1 seventh. But a blown tire followed by a meeting with the wall on lap 148 shortly after a green flag stop sent his Penske Ford to pit road.

“We’ll have to look if I hit something or, I don’t know,” Blaney said. “I just went into three getting up to speed and blew a tire and hit the fence.”

The crew tried to effect repairs but the damage to the right front was too much. The crew unable to push the car off pit road, forced NASCAR to throw a caution on lap 159 for a tow truck that took the damaged car to the garage.

“It’s an unfortunate end to our night,” Blaney said. “That sucks.  We’re not even halfway and just wanting to work on your stuff all night.  I thought we were getting it a little better here and there, but won’t get a shot.”

It was Blaney’s second consecutive DNF in a points paying race coming on the heels of crash he was swept up in at Darlington.

“That’s two unfortunate weekends in a row,” he said.  “I thought we at least had a shot to get better.  I’d run close to the top 10 and maybe top five, but we’ll get through it.  We’ve just got to hopefully put together a good race next week.”


Greg Engle