Winner’s Weekend: Ryan Blaney – Charlotte ROVAL

Video Details

Ryan Blaney and crew chief Jeremy Bullins recap the strategy that brought them to victory lane in the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

ANNOUNCER: It's finally here, easily the most anticipated race of this season.

ANNOUNCER: This, they talked about it having teeth. It'll reach out and bit you.

Here we go, history in the making at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Green flag is out, a great start for Kurt Busch.

RYAN BLANEY: Think our mindset was just to have a good day, you know, and kind of accept the challenges. You know, we were good from the cutoff line, but we were only 4 points above it. So we had to have a really solid day.

First little run, I didn't think we were great. I was really, really lose. And rear drive, I was getting beat on pretty badly.

- So we backed up and went back to more like what we had in practice air pressure-wise and things like that. And the car seemed to get a little bit better, and we were able to drive up at the end of stage one and get a point there.

ANNOUNCER: Kyle Larson is going to win stage number one in the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400.

RYAN BLANEY: When we did that strategy move, we had to pit and almost go to the back. But like we said before, we couldn't give up stage points. If there was a chance to win a stage or get a bunch of stage points, you have to do it.

So we knew it might set us back, but we had, you know, half the race left to try to get us back up there. But I did feel better about our car and a little bit more confident when we were out there. And kind of showed a little bit more speed, and it handled a little bit better.

ANNOUNCER: Two laps left in stage number two through the chicane. Leader, Ryan Blaney, it would be big for him to get 10 points out of this stage.

ANNOUNCER: Back up to the start/finish line, stage two goes to Ryan Blaney.

ANNOUNCER: A lot to be determined in the closing laps of this race. Who will win the inaugural Roval race here at Charlotte Motor Speedway?

ANNOUNCER: See a caution flag yet again.

ANNOUNCER: The caution is for Aric Almirola.

JEREMY BULLINS: Right around lap 69 or 70, caution came out. A lot of cars pitted, because we were right on the fuel window to make it, two or three laps short. You start looking at the point situation, and we're right there around 10th or 11th.

And you know, we're racing the 14 and the 88, and the 88 came down pit road. And the way the points thing works, we pitted just to cover those guys. We knew if we were close to them or ahead of them, we were in to the next round. And it kept us in a situation where we knew we weren't going to run out of fuel.

ANNOUNCER: Watching Alex Bowman being pressured by Ryan Blaney and Clint Bowyer.

ANNOUNCER: Trouble, turn one.

RYAN BLANEY: It was making me a little bit nervous. Personally, I didn't want to see that caution with nine to go, just because we were into the next round.

That was my main thought. I was like, just get into the next round. That's all I care about. I was like, OK, it's getting down to crunch time in the race, and people are going to start getting pretty desperate.

ANNOUNCER: A half a dozen laps to go. The green flag is up. Keselowski misses turn one. Four, five, six cars pile in.

ANNOUNCER: Ryan Blaney barely made his way through that wreck.

- Yeah, that was pandemonium. We got a little bit of damage from that. It kind of skimmed 21's bumper, hit the wheel, and knocked it out of my hands. And I was worried, worried something was going to break or was bent.

JEREMY BULLIINS: It looked like it was OK. With just a couple of laps to go, we felt like our only shot was to stay out. And if it rubs, it rubs.

RYAN BLANEY: But it was really not a question of if we were going to come in. You can't come in, because if you come in, you just pretty much roll over and give up.

JEREMY BULLINS: Because we were able to stay out of it, for the most part, we were able to keep moving forward. And we had better tires than everyone else, because we pitted without going a lap down, so now we've got 20 lap better tires than some of the guys that we were racing.

RYAN BLANEY: By turn three, I was able to get to fourth really fast. So I was like, ooh, yeah, this is good. And we got a couple car buffer between me and the guys I'm racing for points. The one had a rough bus stop on the back, so I was able to get alongside him and pass him into the last corners.

Once I got to third, I was OK. I was content with riding there. Top two guys were kind of far out, too far ahead of me to try to run down in two laps. I didn't want to make a mistake and wreck.

ANNOUNCER: Jimmie Johnson looks to the inside of Martin Truex Jr. They dive into the chicane.

They touch. Jimmie Johnson spins. Martin Truex Jr. gets hit by Johnson. They are both spun out.

RYAN BLANEY: I just saw a bunch of smoke.

ANNOUNCER: Here comes Ryan Blaney.

RYAN BLANEY: I almost wrecked trying to get speed to make sure that he didn't straighten it back out and still beat us.

It does feel nice to finally get a win for this 12 group. This was a big time to do it, you know, in the playoffs.

JEREMY BULLINS: The thing we kept telling each other is, all we got to do is win races in the playoffs to win a championship.

RYAN BLANEY: A lot of these guys were in the 21 car last year, so we were able to celebrate Pocono with them. And really, really cool to win for Roger Penske and have him here. Just a really crazy day that happened to go our way.