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APR 7, 2024 | Ford Performance Staff

Ryan Blaney Leads Four Mustangs Inside Top 10 at Martinsville

Blaney Mustang on the track

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - A quartet of Mustang Dark Horses finished inside the top 10, led by the Team Penske duo of Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. 

In a race where competitors spoke openly about their inability to pass, Blaney drove from the back of the field after the end of Stage 1 due to a second trip down pit road to tighten a loose wheel. During that same pit stop, Logano took two tires, leaving him leading the field to begin Stage 2, a position he held for the next 83 laps before the tires started to fall apart, falling back to fifth with just three laps remaining in the stage.

From there, it was mostly a Hendrick Motorsports show. William Byron, of the Chevrolet team, won, with teammates Kyle Larson second and Chase Elliott third.

For Ford, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe landed inside the top 10, coming home ninth and 10th, while Josh Berry, who qualified seventh, showed speed early, but an uncontrolled tire penalty put him behind the eight-ball.

The Blue Ovals return to the Lone Star state next Sunday afternoon to race at Texas Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st –William Byron
2nd - Kyle Larson
3rd - Chase Elliott
4th - Buba Wallace
5th - Ryan Blaney
6th - Joey Logano

7th - Tyler Reddick
8th - Alex Bowman
9th - Ryan Preece
10th - Chase Briscoe

REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
13th - Todd Gilliland
15th - Chris Buescher
20th - Noah Gragson
21st - Michael McDowell
23rd - Austin Cindric
24th - Brad Keselowski
25th - Josh Berry
26th - Kaz Grala
30th - Justin Haley
33rd - Harrison Burton

RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 5th)
“We got good at the end. It was an uphill battle for sure. We had the issue on pit road and had to restart in the back and nobody could pass anybody. Jonathan made a good call to put two on it at the start of the third stage and we kind of established ourselves a little bit back in the top 10. We were able to work on our car again once we got a little clean air and seeing what the car was doing and how to get it better. After the green flag stop I was really fast. I passed a handful of guys. I was kind of shocked. I held on pretty good but stalled out when I got to the 11. Overall, I am proud of the fight back from our group. Obviously not the first half of the race we wanted and we didn’t get any stage points, but I am proud of the fight and perseverance of the Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang 12 team. We will go on to Texas.”

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 6th)
“It was a solid day. I think we got fifth or sixth place points in each stage, somewhere around there. We led a bunch of laps. We got out front, but the tire came apart at the end of that stage there, which cost us a stage win, unfortunately. We took that risk to do it and ended up in the same spot that we were going to be, so really no risk there. After that, we kind of lost control of the race, and once that happened, once you lost the lead, nobody was going to pass anybody. The only car I saw passing was the 12. That was pretty impressive. The rest of us just followed each other all day.”

RYAN PREECE, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 9th)
“We had a really good car. I wish we didn’t qualify so bad. I know the 24 started back there with us and was able to get there probably with the help of a lot of things. At Martinsville last year we had a good car, but not that good of a car, so we are definitely working toward something. I am really happy with the direction, finally, that we are going in and I think we are going to be a lot better moving forward.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 14  Mahindra Tractors Ford Mustang Dark Horse (Finished 10th)
“I am frustrated. We ran 10th but that was the worst 10th. We were better than that all race long, so that is frustrating. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We lost a couple of spots on pit road and then ran long and lost a lot of track time there. I thought our car was good enough to for sure run in the top three. I don't know what the leaders had at the end. You just can’t pass, so if you were able to get the lead, you were going to hold it if you were somewhat decent. We need to figure out how to execute a little better. We had good speed, we just need to capitalize on it better.”

NASCAR XFINITY Series (April 6 – Martinsville)

  • Cole Custer finished eighth to lead Ford at Martinsville.
  • Custer qualified second and led 27 laps at the front end of the race.
  • Custer ran inside the top five for much of the races, finishing third in Stage 1 and fifth in Stage 2
  • Custer leaves Martinsville second in the driver standings, 35 points behind the leader.
  • The XFINITY Series continues next Saturday afternoon (April 13) at Texas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (April 5 – Martinsville)

  • Ty Majeski started on the pole and finished second to lead Ford at Martinsville.
  • Australian Supercars star Cam Waters made his NASCAR debut with ThorSport racing.
  • Waters put together a solid effort before getting collected in a three-truck crash with 25 laps remaining, finishing 30th
  • Majeski leaves Martinsville as the series points leader
  • The Truck Series resumes next Friday night (April 12) at Texas Motor Speedway