Ryan Blaney entered Texas Motor Speedway on a three-race hot streak. But the Team Penske driver made an early exit from Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race when the gremlins that bit his team early this season returned.
“A part broke off and all the water leaked out, so that’s the way it goes,” Blaney said.
The No. 12 Ford was pushed to the garage with just over 100 laps to go in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 after his team made the unfortunate diagnosis on pit road. Blaney had just finished a green flag pit stop, but radioed to his team something was wrong and the car wouldn’t re-fire. He’d led 45 laps before the issue.
“It just seems that’s the way this season is going,” said Blaney. “We’ve had a shot to win pretty much every race and then something happened. That’s getting old. The car is fast and that’s the bright side, but I’m kind of tired of looking at the bright side. I want to actually start finishing where we should.
“Just one of those days.”
To start the year, Blaney crashed in the Daytona 500; had a costly slow pit stop in Atlanta; then had a valve stem knocked off in Las Vegas. He finished 31st, 22nd, and 22nd, before going third, fifth, and fourth the next three weeks.
Blaney has now led the most laps (195) of any Cup Series driver who hasn’t been to Victory Lane in 2019, and is the only Team Penske driver who hasn’t won a race.