Ryan Blaney remains fast but winless at Bristol Motor Speedway after a disappointing early exit Sunday afternoon.
From the second position, Blaney spun from the high groove coming off Turn 2 and down the backstretch. As the car came to a stop, Ty Dillon was unable to turn out of Blaney’s path and ran into the front end of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford. Both cars were damaged and retired from the race.
Blaney had led 60 laps in the Supermarket Heroes 500 before the accident.
“I was running up there for a little bit, I didn’t think I was that high and all of a sudden I hit a slick spot,” said Blaney. “I was way high, and that’s obviously not where I wanted to be, but I didn’t think I was that high getting in there. It might have just been trying to get too much and got in the marbles and spun out. I thought we were going to be OK and then we got destroyed about six seconds later, so that’s just Bristol and a part of Bristol.
“I probably shouldn’t have been pushing that hard, but trying to get back to the lead. I thought we found some speed up there, just a mistake on my part. I hate it for Menards and Richmond and everybody on this 12 team. After having two strong weeks, you go and you wreck not even halfway, so that’s just a bummer. We’ll go to Atlanta and see what we can do.”
Blaney and Dillon spoke after being released uninjured from the infield care center. Blaney said Dillon explained how he was trying to slow when they made contact.
“It’s just one of them things at Bristol,” Blaney said. “Things happen fast and (he) just couldn’t get slowed up enough and turn and miss me. I think we’re both out of it, but I shouldn’t have been sitting there sideways on the track anyway. That stinks, but I thought we were going to be OK and just can’t seem to avoid things here.
“It’s hard to do, but I hate it for everybody on our crew. We had a good car, and I just kind of overstepped it and cost us.”
Including Sunday, Blaney has been one of the dominant drivers at Bristol in recent years. In the last five races, dating back to the spring of 2018, he’s led a combined 439 laps with three top-10 finishes.
A fourth-place finish in the spring 2019 race was Blaney’s best finish in that stretch. The effort is also Blaney’s career-best finish at Bristol to date. In 2018, while leading, Blaney was collected in an accident that resulted in a DNF after he’d led 100 laps.