BRISTOL, Tenn. — The look of disappointment was on the face of Ryan Blaney, as he spoke to Vince Welch of FOX Sports about the wreck that collected him, as he was leading the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was even more apparent the frustration he was withholding because everything happened before he could see it.
“I didn’t see much, to be honest with you. By the time I could see anything they were already turned right and there was nowhere to go,” Blaney said. “Seeing the replay, I don’t know, people not cleared clearing themselves and then wrecking and take the leader out, so that’s unfortunate. Our car was pretty good today. We just kind of got held up there and we might not have been as strong at the end of that run, but I thought we could have at least held on for that stage and never got the chance. The positives you look at is that we had a good car and that’s something to hold your head high about.”
While he wasn’t the primary instigator or pinball of the six-car incident in Turn 3 on Lap 120, he was the biggest casualty of it, being both the leader and having led 100 laps.
It started when Chris Buescher got a run past Harrison Rhodes and attempted to pass Trevor Bayne for position.
“First off, our Bush’s Baked Beans Camaro was really good today. Unfortunately, we were in one of the accidents before that and got us back there where we really shouldn’t have been,” Buescher said. “We had three or four of us trying to stay on the lead lap and we were all being held up by the No. 6 (Trevor Bayne). I got a good run on the outside the slower cars and came off the corner and thought we were good, and it just swiped right up the front. By the time you lift, it’s a little too late. It’s really unfortunate. I love this place. It’s my favorite race track that we go to. We had good speed. We’ve just got to get back after it the next time we come here.”
Bayne, however, drifted up into his path and got loose, overcorrected, turned down and hooked Rhodes, sending him into the outside wall (and clipping Buescher and sending him spinning rear-end first into the outside wall) and into the path of Blaney.
“It’s obviously frustrating when lapped cars wreck and take the leader out,” Blaney added. “That’s unfortunate. They weren’t lap down cars yet, I guess, but I don’t know. I didn’t really see much. By the time I got away from the car right in front of me they were already turned right up the race track and I was already going to the top. I kind of saw them spinning low and I thought that top was gonna be OK and then they slid back up and got us. That stinks. I thought we had a good car and nothing to show for it.”
Because his incident occurred so early in the race, Blaney finished a measly 35th. But with the driver and behind in points having bad days, his points blow was mostly softened. He leaves Bristol sixth in points, 98 back of Kyle Busch.