The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang is not happy with his fellow Cup Series drivers. Ryan Blaney has made angry comments about the restarts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including one that sent him spinning in overtime.
Blaney was in a position to fight for the win on the final restart. He headed to the green flag on the second row, just behind Tyler Reddick. His goal was to jump to the front of the pack, but contact disrupted his afternoon on Turn 1. Blaney moved to the right after the flag waved and initially blocked Daniel Suarez, but the Trackhouse Racing driver got beside him.
They entered Turn 1 three-wide with AJ Allmendinger on Blaney’s left. They continued to battle before Blaney spun to the left after contact from both Suarez and Allmendinger. He dropped to the rear of the field and spent the remainder of the race moving back up to the 26th position. Blaney then shut down the notion that his old tires were the culprits.
“No, it’s a case of just getting wrecked,” Blaney said after the Verizon 200, quote courtesy of Ford Performance. “That’s all people do at the end of these things, just dive in there and wreck you. I don’t know who shoved who and I don’t care, but tires didn’t matter at the end. We restarted top three both times and tires don’t really matter. It’s just a matter of getting through on the restart, but, apparently, that’s a hard thing to ask. People just run over each other.”
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Blaney Showed His Displeasure to Daniel Suarez
Following the spin, Blaney fell through the field while Suarez continued to fight for a top-five finish. However, the driver of the No. 99 ended the day 28th, one spot behind his teammate Ross Chastain.
The cameras did not show what happened to Suarez initially, nor did they reveal why he fell back in the pack. However, they showed a different incident involving him and the No. 12. Blaney chased Suarez down on the cooldown lap and intentionally dumped him.
There was certainly contact between Suarez and Blaney, which directly contributed to the spin. Prior to them entering Turn 1, however, Blaney’s teammate Austin Cindric actually hit Suarez from behind and sent the No. 99 sideways into the No. 12. Cindric also had Harrison Burton pushing him heading into the corner. Though there was no way for Blaney to see this.
“I was protecting right and I guess whoever it was behind me didn’t care,” Blaney added. “I don’t know. They jumped over the curb and just wipe you out. I just didn’t even have a shot at it. I didn’t have a shot to get to the [No.] 8 to try to put the bumper to him or anything like that, just get wiped out. I don’t know. I’m pissed off about it and I have every d*** right to be.”
Blaney Maintained His Spot Above the Cutline
Winning the road course race would have erased some of the frustrations and punched Blaney’s ticket to the playoffs. This did not play out, but he also avoided losing much ground to the bubble drivers.
Blaney entered the Cup Series weekend third in the regular-season standings but 15th in the playoff standings as one of two winless drivers above the cutline. He was 111 points behind Chase Elliott and six points behind Chastain.
Blaney added 20 more points to his total at IMS and jumped ahead of Chastain. He also gained some ground on Kevin Harvick, whose day came to an early end after multiple on-track incidents involving Alex Bowman and other drivers.
The driver of the No. 12 is now 121 points above the cutline and 25 points above Martin Truex Jr., who sits in the final transfer spot with four races remaining in the regular season. Harvick is 96 points below Truex and in a must-win situation.