Bubba Wallace’s Spotter Freddie Kraft Believes Ryan Blaney Was Winning “What an Idiot” at Daytona Until Martin Truex Jr “Stole” the Award

Published 08/31/2022, 2:55 PM EDT
Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

At the Coke Zero Sugar 400, Ryan Blaney pretty much knew he had to pull out all the stops. However, 23XI Racing spotter Freddie Kraft noted that Blaney would have had a hard time. He was judging by how the Team Penske driver’s race was unfolding at the Daytona International Speedway.

However, Martin Truex Jr usurped him as the winner of the ‘What an Idiot’ crown.

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Kraft said, “I had Blaney as my ‘What an Idiot’ for 2/3rds of the race. Right up until the #19 team stole that award away from him.”

“They did exactly what they needed to do for 2/3rds of the race and got 15 stage points. Did a lot of teamwork up front, trying to help Martin as much stage points as we could. Now you’re in position, you start Stage 3, 10 points back.”

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What else did he say about Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr?

According to Kraft, the Joe Gibbs Racing team was actually in a decent position for most of the race. Unfortunately, they botched it by racing hard in the third stage. So they were pretty helpless when the heavens opened and Truex Jr. got caught up in the wreck.

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Blaney himself was a non-factor, because he was well down the order until he survived the wreck.

Feb 16, 2022; Daytona, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) talks to the press during Daytona 500 media day at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Kraft continued, “All you’ve got to do now is, Blaney is 5-6 laps down, running 35th. He’s essentially out of the race, you know you just have to manage your gap to him. You got to beat him by 10 spots. I don’t know why they stayed up there and raced the start of the third stage. Here we are, three laps into the third stage, they’re wrecked.”

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DIVE DEEPER

“I Don’t Understand” – Bubba Wallace’s Spotter Freddie Kraft Baffled at How Ryan Blaney Maintained Minimum Speed While Wallace was Punished

5 months ago

In the end, all that it resulted in was Ryan Blaney gleefully stealing the final Playoff spot. With Austin Dillon’s win guaranteeing him a spot as well, poor old Martin Truex Jr was left high and dry. All this was in spite of the best efforts from the Toyota contingent helping him.

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Dhruv George

13729 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh

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