NASCAR: Ryan Blaney Breaks Down Second Place Finish in YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was almost Ryan Blaney’s to take, but it wasn’t meant to be with Chase Elliott surging for the win. After a little bit of a disappointing finish, the NASCAR driver was deflated. Depsite the fact that the P2 finish is his best of the season, it’s little consolation after being so close to the win.

Talladega is all about fuel and finding the car you want to work with. You are either the pusher or the one being pushed during these kinds of races. Ryan Blaney couldn’t push very well throughout the day, but he got some good pushes from his Ford teammates.

“I thought about it, but when you got to the middle and you don’t have a Ford or a teammate behind you your chances of getting split are just so high,” he said. “As much as I trust Chase I don’t trust him not to take me three wide and leave me in the middle so I just chose to stay down in front of Michael and he was awesome at pushing me the last restart and just giving me great shots. Just a little too late.”

Good news for Blaney, this was the first of four races without his jackman, right rear tire changer, and crew chief. So, all things considered this was a solid day. However, that does little to make things feel better. These drivers want to win moe than anything.

For Ryan Blaney, that win would mean a lot. In a season with 19 individual winners, the No. 12 has been left out aside from the All-Star race. Since that doesn’t count for anything real, it has been a winless season for all intents and purposes.

Ryan Blaney Remains in Contention

As far as the playoffs go, Ryan Blaney is going great. He doesn’t have a win, but Chase Elliott is the only playoffs driver to take a checkered flag this postseason. After today’s results at Talladega, Blaney sits in second in the standings. He will need a good, not great race to advance to the Round of 8 after the Charlotte Roval.

Is it possible for Ryan Blaney to win the NASCAR Playoffs Championship without winning? In the season of “win and you’re in” it would be quite the turn. However, I have a feeling that whoever wins the playoffs will need at least one checkered flag in order to do it.

The playoffs head to Charlotte next weekend. Another road course and another chance for chaos in these playoffs.