Consistency is why Ryan Blaney did not have to worry about making the Playoffs. The No. 12 team had no wins coming into the Indy race but had seven top fives and 11 top-10 finishes.
Blaney qualified ninth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and was fairly consistent all afternoon during the Big Machine Vodka 400. He finished fourth in Stage 1 and third in Stage 2. The No. 12 driver even took the lead at one point off the restart and led once for 19 laps. Unfortunately, it would be the only time Blaney would be in the lead. Even with a few late-race yellows, they weren’t enough and left the Team Penske driver frustrated with a seventh-place finish.
“Lost the lead when the caution came out on the pit stop cycle and not going to pass anybody,” Blaney frustratingly said to PRN Radio. “So, whoever was in the lead was the best car. We lost the lead and that was pretty much it.”
Blaney will be seeded 12th in the Playoff standings.
Chase Elliott, on the other hand, had quite an eventful day from the start. During the first caution, Elliott was bumped from behind and turned around on pit road. He was fairly quiet all day, not scoring any stage points and trying to make ground up. With the late-race cautions and the way pit strategy played out, Elliott claimed the ninth position after contact early on.
“It was pretty much destroyed,” Elliott described to PRN Radio about his car. “Our NAPA team did a nice job to somehow piece it back together. The splitter is gone on the left front and the right side, I tore it off later. So yeah it was a long day. We kind of just had to fight and came with a top-10. All things considered, I thought it was okay.”
Elliott is seeded seventh in the playoff grid.