Ryan Blaney had quite an up-and-down week dating back to the start of the Daytona 500 that kicked off on Feb. 16 before being completed the following day due to inclement weather. Blaney was in good position at the Daytona 500 before his car made the initial contact with Ryan Newman that ultimately led to his car going airborne.
Newman lost control of his car as it caught fire after its crash landing. He had to be taken away by ambulance to the Halifax Medical Center where a few hours passed by before it was revealed he had non life-threatening injuries. He was released from the hospital two days later but was unable to race at the following weekend's Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas.
Blaney competed, though, and even led for 19 laps but following a caution flag going up with five laps remaining and a poor restart that saw him go from being in the lead to restarting in the ninth position. Blaney never recovered as Joey Logan went on to claim victory with Blaney placing 11th on the day.
“It’s just part of it,” Blaney said. “The caution comes out, and as the leader, that’s really tough to make that call. You can’t blame [my crew chief] for that. … It definitely stinks that we didn’t win the race."
Good effort from our 12 team today. Long runs we were awesome. Tough call at the end. Them things happen. Looking forward to next week. In the meantime I’m staying in the Mojave Desert checking out the oldest saloon around. 🍻 pic.twitter.com/xRMYfZHo6R— Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) February 24, 2020
While Blaney has now had consecutive races go by that saw him come up empty-handed despite racing near or ahead of the pack, he hasn't let that damper his overall perspective. After the race in Vegas, Blaney said he's just pleased to hear about Newman's progression.
“Seeing Ryan progress has been great,” Blaney explained. “I got to talk to him during the week, so that was nice to hear his voice. It makes me feel better when I see Ryan doing better.”0comments
In Newman's place at the Pennzoil 400 was Ross Chastain, who ended up finishing in 27th place.
Chastain will continue to race in the place of Newman, whose status remains up in the air but is believed to be back in time to compete this season.