Ryan Blaney had a wild day Sunday at the Kentucky Speedway. The Team Penske driver saw his shifter break early on as he slipped outside of the top five when it went out of gear while in Turn 2.
He’d go the rest of the way with one hand on the steering wheel and the other keeping his shifter in place.
In the end, he was there with a chance to win still. His No. 12 Ford was fast. He made a maneuver coming to the white Flag to earn his second win of the season.
Blaney, made it four wide exiting Turn 4 and went as far low and one can go on the 1.5 mile race track. Unfortunately for him, he hit the drain on the apron.
The contact cause him to get out of shape which saw him get shot back up onto the race track and into the cars above.
“I thought we had a good car all day,” said Blaney following his sixth place finish. “We drove up through there a lot. From the get-go it was hard to pass, but I thought it was better than the Xfinity or Truck races as far as the passing goes.
“We might have wore out that stuff a little bit more than them and the bottom seemed to come in a little bit more, especially through one and two, so that was at least better than what it’s been the last couple nights of racing.
“I finally got the lead from the 10 and I look at the point where we lost control of the race and it was when that caution came out close to the end of stage two and it gave the 2 the lead when they stayed out late and they just crossed the start-finish line on pit road and cycled into the lead. That lost us control of the race, I thought.
“We couldn’t choose where to restart and it was so hard to get the lead on the bottom, so we were just fighting to try to get back to the lead. I thought we were close to the 19. It was just kind of, I think, between he and I it was just who was in front of who as far as who was gonna have a good shot to win the race.
“We got a break there on that one restart, where we got a quick caution and we were a nose ahead of him and I was like, ‘Okay, we’re finally back in control of this race,’ and then he got put three-wide in the top of three and couldn’t maintain the lead. And then I hit a damn X Games bump, jump on the frontstretch there and bounced me into Harvick, so that sucked, but, overall, I was happy with our speed, just didn’t quite catch the breaks we needed to try to win the race.”
Blaney, now has some momentum back on his side as he heads to the All-Star race on Wednesday night.