“We just needed laps”: Ryan Blaney falls short as Christopher Bell wins NASCAR Cup race at Homestead

NASCAR Cup Series 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1
NASCAR Cup Series 4EVER 400 Presented by Mobil 1

Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney lost the 4EVER 400, the second race of Round of 8, to Christopher Bell by 1.651 seconds on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney admitted that he needed a longer run to catch and challenge Bell for the win. However, his #12 Ford car had enough speed to get a runner-up place finish, which was an important step in the playoffs’ semi-final round.

It was a strong day for Blaney as he started on the pole and won the second stage, leading the second most laps in the race (53 of 267). He grabbed the lead on Lap 243 and lost it after just one lap but he moved back into second behind Bell with six laps remaining in the race. However, the #20 car driven by Bell held off Blaney to win the race.

After the race, Ryan Blaney explained what went wrong in the closing laps against Bell.

“We were trying. We just needed laps. The long run car was really good. I just couldn’t fire-off for 10 laps or so. I think the track cooling off helped those guys. I think we were better in the hotter, slicker conditions when fire-off speed didn’t matter as much, and it fell off quicker”, Blaney said as quoted by motorsport.com.

Blaney also said:

“It got a little cooler at the end, and we never really found the front-end speed and they did. We ran out of laps a little bit. I am proud of the effort. It was a really good day, we just got beat a little bit there at the end.”

“Hopefully we can do it again next week” – Ryan Blaney optimistic to lock his spot in the Championship 4 race

After a P6 and P2 results in the two races of the Round of 8, Team Penske driver said he had solid two weeks in a row and hopes to repeat the same in next week’s Martinsville race.

Ryan Blaney went ahead and put his thoughts on the qualifying scenario with one race left to qualify for the Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway.

“I hope we can perform. We’ve had two good weeks in a row at Vegas and here. We have had solid weekends, so hopefully we can do it again next week. It is nice to come in here a decent chunk down and then go to Martinsville in the positive. We just have to perform. We have to run well,” Blaney said as quoted by motorsport.com.

Ryan Blaney is in third place in the points standings, 10 points ahead over fifth place Tylere Reddick for the final spot.

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Edited by Yash Soni