CONCORD, N.C. - Ryan Blaney led a race-high 163 laps, including the final 26, to win Monday’s rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The victory snapped a 59-race winless streak for Blaney and came on the heels of fellow Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden winning the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. This marks the first time Roger Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same season.
Blaney scored top five stage points in all four stages, but found himself fourth with 38 laps to go after a series of pit stops. He gained two spots before the caution came out with 31 laps to go and then passed WIlliam Byron on lap 375 and never looked back.
Ford had a strong night as five drivers combined to lead 201-of-400 laps. Chris Buescher won Stage 2, which ended with Ford sweeping the top five spots, while Blaney captured the final two stages. Buescher went on to finish eighth while Zane Smith, making his fifth career Cup Series start, was 10th for Front Row Motorsports.
As a result of his victory, Blaney is only one point behind Ross Chastain for the points lead. Kevin Harvick is 4th and Brad Keselowski 9th overall.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to World Wide Technology Raceway for Sunday’s race, which is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET start on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM radio.
NCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st -- Ryan Blaney
2nd -- William Byron
3rd -- Martin Truex Jr.
4th -- Bubba Wallace
5th -- Tyler Reddick
6th -- Kyle Busch
7th -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
8th -- Chris Buescher
9th -- Austin Dillon
10th -- Zane Smith
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
11th – Kevin Harvick
13th – Ryan Preece
16th – JJ Yeley
18th – Harrison Burton
19th – Brad Keselowski
20th – Chase Briscoe
21st – Joey Logano
25th – Aric Almirola
28th – Michael McDowell
31st – Austin Cindric
33rd – Todd Gilliland
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 BodyArmor Cherry Lime Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
“It’s just so cool. What a weekend with Newgarden and Roger winning at Indy and us winning the 600, I mean that’s just so cool. That kind of snaps our winless streak right there and that’s even better. I’m just really thankful to everybody who stuck around with us. It’s huge to have BodyArmor on the car. It’s such a cool car and looking forward to celebrate with these guys and I’m just really proud of the car and the effort that we had and was able to hang on.”
YOU WEREN’T SURE WHAT YOU HAD WITH YOUR CAR. HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU AS THE RACE WENT ON?
“We just kept working on it all night and I think the track took a change. I didn’t feel great at the end of Stage 3. I was kind of getting pressured by a couple guys and we had to work on our car, and it was getting cooler outside. We just did a great job. Jonathan did a great job of working on it all night and getting it close enough at the end to where we could really take advantage of restarts, and then once we got the lead was able to stretch it out.”
HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE WITH YOUR GUYS?
“I don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing those guys. Only time will tell. We’ll see.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 17 Fastenal Ford Mustang –
YOU WON A STAGE, SO YOUR THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S EFFORT?
“It was a really strong day. Our Fastenal Mustang was really good. We got hit on pit road and definitely took a decent amount out of us, so I’m upset about that, but at the end of the day it was a good recovery. We kept digging back and it’s cool to have this camo paint scheme up front for a lot of the day, but I want to do more.”
ZANE SMITH, No. 38 Boot Barn Ford Mustang –
“I am so happy, as happy as could be, really. I was worried when we didn’t take tires there and were running really good and had a really good day. It just worked out, so just a great job by this whole 38 Boot Barn FRM team. We got our Mustang better and better every single stop and that’s so cool. We run on half the budget, if that, than a lot of these guys, so to finish top 10 in our sixth start at the Coke 600 is really cool.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
“It’s been a rough three weeks for me. The Cup Series is a different level and obviously I’m trying to prove I belong here and it’s just an outstanding run. Ryan does an outstanding job and it’s so cool to finish this race, but better yet with a top 10.”
THIS MUST HAVE BEEN THE LONGEST RACE YOU’VE RUN?
“Yeah, no doubt. I got to about halfway and I had heard that story coming into this of how long this race feels and I did a lot of preparation for the past month of just trying to prepare myself for this one. I feel like I could go another 100 more, so I did a good job there. I’m just so proud of everyone at FRM and on this 38 car. It’s an outstanding job, I thought.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Menards/Duracell Ford Mustang –
“You’re patient for 550 miles, why be patient for the last 40? I probably could have helped myself there by not drifting up the racetrack and knowing my own strength and weaknesses. It’s just unfortunate to get so close to the end of this race and not being able to finish it last year and the same with this year. I felt we had a lot of positives from today – some really good pit stops. We had good speed at times, but just having to put the whole race together as a team. I definitely made some mistakes today and unfortunate not to be able to finish it off.”
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
- Cole Custer finished 3rd to lead Ford Monday night at Charlotte.
- It marked Custer’s 5th Top 5 finish in the last 6 series races.
- Kyle Sieg was 11th and Riley Herbst 14th.
- The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads west to Portland International Raceway on Saturday, June 3 at 4:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM).