Ryan Blaney wins the Geico 500 by 0.007 of a second in a thrilling overtime finish at Talladega Superspeedway! This win marks Ford’s and Roush Yates Engines’ ninth win out of the last ten races and Blaney’s second win in a row at NASCAR’s largest track.
“What a finish! Winning at Talladega is always special to my family and the entire Roush Yates organization,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Congratulations to Ryan, Todd, Roger and the entire No. 12 team. To have all three Team Penske drivers win a race and to be in playoff position is a great accomplishment. It’s a testament to all their hard work.”
Rain showers pushed back the Geico 500 to a Monday afternoon shootout, but just 57 laps in, the rain halted the race. After nearly an hour rain delay, the drivers were called back to their cars. The green flag waved and all three Team Penske Ford Mustangs and its Wood Brothers affiliate dominated the middle portion of the race and remained in control entering the final stage.
With laps winding down in the final stage, many drivers were asked to save fuel to make it to the end, until there was a late race caution that gave some teams the break they needed to make it to the checkered flag. Ryan Blaney lined up first with Kevin Harvick in second and Chris Buescher third. Blaney described the moment as “just biding your time and hoping you saved enough.”
The last two laps were filled with lane changes, bumps and runs! Harvick took the white flag with Buescher and Blaney on his rear bumper. Coming into turn three, there was a multiple car wreck mid-pack, but the leaders were still racing to the finish. Blaney dove down into turn four and got the lead while the field behind him was three-wide. Blaney used the entire width of the racetrack to maintain the top spot. The No. 12 Ford Mustang crossed the line first, ahead of a hard charging Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
“I’m really proud of this whole Menards/Sylvania Ford Mustang team,” commented Blaney. “It’s been a cool year so far and I’m really excited to get our first win of the year at a cool place.”
Five Fords finished inside the top ten with Aric Almirola spinning across the finish line in P3, Buescher P6, John Hunter Nemechek in P8, and Kevin Harvick in P10. Fast Fords led a race high of 104 of the 191 laps and maintain the manufacture points lead with seven wins in the 2020 season.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series also took on the high banks of Talladega this past weekend for the Unhinged 300. Austin Cindric drove a clean, impressive race and finished P4. Chase Briscoe won stage two, but unfortunately suffered crash damage and finished P18. Briscoe sits second and Cindric sits third in driver points standings.
NASCAR heads to Pocono Raceway for a triple-header this weekend. The Cup series will race Saturday afternoon, June 27th and return to the track on Sunday, June 28th with the Xfinity Series for back-to-back races. For a complete race schedule head to roushyates.com.