Ryan Blaney Triumphs in the Closest Ever Finish at the Michigan Speedway

Published 08/24/2021, 12:18 PM EDT
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Wabash National Ford, stands on the grid during the Salute to Veterans Qualifying Day Fueled by The Texas Lottery for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 02, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


At the Michigan International Speedway, Ryan Blaney emerged victorious, but he did not have it easy. Apparently, William Byron in the #24 car chased him all the way to the chequered flag. In the process, the duo recorded the closest ever finish at the speedway, at 0.077 seconds.

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With two laps to go, Blaney was leading from the Hendrick Motorsports duo of Byron and Kyle Larson. The latter elected to play the team game and gave Byron a bit of a push to try and get him to the front. However, Blaney’s Penske had built up a bit of a buffer to escape for a short while.

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Heading into the corner, things got better for Ryan Blaney, as the Hendrick Motorsports teammates went side-by-side. The bad news was that somewhere along the way, he lost some momentum and it allowed Byron to catch up. Then, they also went side-by-side, with the Penske choosing the bottom lane and William Byron going up high. At the line, the latter pounced, but was a fraction too late to stop Blaney from winning.

Ryan Blaney was ecstatic to win at Michigan

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He said, “It was cool to persevere all day. We didn’t start off very good but we worked on it all day and found ourselves in a spot to capitalize on it at the end and did that.”

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 12: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Peak Ford, speaks with the media during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The #12 driver was particularly thankful for Kyle Busch’s aid in his victory. To be precise, the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver gave him a bit of a push to boost himself. With that, he was able to withstand an assault from a hard-charging Byron and Larson.

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Overall, it was a mixed day for Penske, with Brad Keselowski in ninth and Joey Logano crashing out.

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Dhruv George

12023 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst 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.

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