Race winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang

NASCAR Cup Charlotte: Blaney caps Penske’s big weekend with Coke 600 win

Coming one day after Josef Newgarden won the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske, Blaney won out in a race delayed one day by rain after beating William Byron’s Hendrick Chevrolet at a restart with 20 laps to go.

Blaney and Byron had traded the lead multiple times during the race, with Byron having the added advantage of the first pit stall which repeatedly gave him the lead off pit road.

The win is Blaney’s first in a points-paying race since his August 2021 victory at Daytona, although he did win last year’s non-points All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.

“It’s so cool just to be a part of it, let alone win it,” Blaney said after celebrating with fans in the grandstands, much like Newgarden did on Sunday.

Asked what the result meant given his last victory was nearly two years ago, Blaney added: “You start to get to feel like you can’t win anymore when you don’t win in a while. It kind of gets hard.

“So, just super thankful to the No. 12 guys for believing in me. Thank you (fans) for sticking around. Really appreciate it.”

Byron, who had been awarded pole after the rain also caused Saturday’s qualifying session to be washed out, had edged Christopher Bell to claim the Stage 1 win in a photo finish.

The second stage was disrupted by light rain that caused a 31-minute delay in proceedings. An accident involving Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin exiting Turn 4 on lap 186, Elliott squeezed into the wall before bouncing into Hamlin and turning the Toyota into the wall, then ended the race early for both drivers. 

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro and Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, BodyArmor Cherry Lime Ford Mustang

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Chris Buescher had taken the Stage 2 spoils over Kevin Harvick, with Blaney fifth, but the Penske driver moved to the front and won Stage 3 after passing Byron then holding off Tyler Reddick. 

Midway through Stage 4, top-five contenders Reddick and Harvick exiting Turn 4 to send the race back under caution for the 13th time and set up a late restart with 38 laps remaining. Zane Smith, making just his sixth career Cup start, stayed out and led the way followed by Byron and Kyle Larson.

An incident involving Larson, Ty Gibbs, Joey Logano and Bell exiting Turn 2 then set up the final restart with 20 laps remaining. Blaney took command and never relinquished the lead to the flag.

Martin Truex Jr. finished third, Bubba Wallace rallied to finish fourth and his 23XI Racing teammate Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Buescher, Austin Dillon and Smith.

NASCAR Cup Charlotte race results (400 laps)

ClaDriverManufacturerTimeGap

 

1 Ryan Blaney Ford 4:58’50.315
2 William Byron Chevrolet 4:58’50.978 0.663
3 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 4:58’51.368 1.053
4 Bubba Wallace Toyota 4:58’52.867 2.552
5 Tyler Reddick Toyota 4:58’52.983 2.668
6 Kyle Busch Chevrolet 4:58’53.848 3.533
7 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 4:58’55.434 5.119
8 Chris Buescher Ford 4:58’56.496 6.181
9 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 4:58’56.882 6.567
10 Zane Smith Ford 4:58’57.486 7.171
11 Kevin Harvick Ford 4:58’58.464 8.149
12 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 4:58’58.558 8.243
13 Ryan Preece Ford 4:58’59.592 9.277
14 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 4:58’59.988 9.673
15 Justin Haley Chevrolet 4:59’00.206 9.891
16 J.J. Yeley Ford 4:59’01.870 11.555
17 Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 4:59’03.273 12.958
18 Harrison Burton Ford 4:59’03.610 13.295
19 Brad Keselowski Ford 4:59’03.942 13.627
20 Chase Briscoe Ford 4:59’04.296 13.981
21 Joey Logano Ford 4:59’05.691 15.376
22 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 4:59’05.841 15.526
23 Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 4:59’07.447 17.132
24 Christopher Bell Toyota 4:59’13.079 22.764
25 Aric Almirola Ford 4:59’15.411 25.096
26 Ty Gibbs Toyota 4:59’13.101 2 Laps
27 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 4:59’15.829 3 Laps
28 Michael McDowell Ford 4:59’10.747 4 Laps
29 B.J. McLeod Chevrolet 4:58’55.302 8 Laps
30 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 4:44’56.266 23 Laps
31 Austin Cindric Ford 4:33’09.561 31 Laps
32 Erik Jones Chevrolet 4:59’07.813 59 Laps
33 Todd Gilliland Ford 3:16’34.007 135 Laps
34 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 2:12’41.801 215 Laps
35 Denny Hamlin Toyota 2:12’42.155 215 Laps
36 Noah Gragson Chevrolet 2:00’39.079 283 Laps
37 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 1:53’31.515 285 Laps
View full results

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes