BY: MITCHELL BREUER
LAS VEGAS, Nev – It was a long hard-fought night for Ryan Blaney, who finished fifth in Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Blaney started the day strong from second, leading laps, and finishing Stage 1 in fourth to collect points. The second leg was a different story for Blaney though, as he would be among the cars that had to make a green flag stop, dropping them to 19th and falling a lap down.
This set up a tough Stage 3 for him, having to work his way through the field, and with how the race played out, he had to do it all without the aid of a caution.
Despite this though, Blaney, who was visibly wore out at the end of the race, was still able to get a nice run out of the night.
“I thought we were a top-five car all day long really,” Blaney told News From The Pits. “Got stuck behind there in the second stage with that early caution and not coming down pit road and having to pit, not getting stage points in Stage 2. We had decent speed to get up and through there and run fifth. Proud of the effort, I wish we could have restarted with the top guys and see where we were, overall, though not a bad day, and appreciate the 12 guys for working on it all night.”
When asked if getting a top-five after such a long night made the result feel better, the 27-year-old laughed.
“Made my night harder, that is for sure, I am worn out. Trying to get back through everybody, picking the right lanes, gosh, tough here. A lot of throttle time and sliding around. I passed the 8 (Tyler Reddick) on the last lap for fifth, so that made me feel better.”
While it was not a win, the solid points night sets Blaney up well heading into Talladega Superspeedway next weekend, as he currently sits 24 markers above the cutoff.