Blaney rebounds to finish in the top 25 of the Coca-Cola 600

 

After breaking an axle during a Stage 2 pit stop, Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team rebounded to finish in the top 25 in the rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 started seventh in the annual Memorial Day weekend marathon and was into the top five after only two laps. Blaney finished Stage 1 where he started and collected four stage points.

He started Stage 2 in sixth position and stayed in that spot during the lengthy red flag due to a rain storm that blew through the speedway mid-race.

Excellent pit work by the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team put its driver into fourth for the post-delay re-start and he was running in fifth when he pitted after a lap-174 caution flag flew and broke the left-rear axle. Quick work by the Wood Brothers crew in the garage got Blaney back out on the track five laps later but in 35th place.

“Breaking an axle is a tough break for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team,” Blaney said. “These Wood Brothers guys did a great job getting us back on the track.”

Once back in the fray, Blaney methodically passed the cars he needed to overtake to improve his position. He finished Stage 2 in 34th place. Stage 3 concluded with the No. 21 in 28th and he was up to 24th by the time the checkered flag was displayed.

With that result, Blaney moves down a spot to 12th in the driver standings, 183 points behind leader Martin Truex, Jr.

The next stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit is Dover International Speedway for the AAA Drive for Autism on Sunday, June 4, at 1 p.m. on FS1.

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