Blaney edged in Iowa
It seems like only a matter of time before Ryan Blaney wins again on the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Blaney, son of Hartford native and NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney, finished second to Sam Hornish Jr. Sunday in the Get to Know Newton 250 sponsored by Sherwin Williams. Blaney led 80 laps but lost the lead to Hornish on a restart on lap 229.
Hornish pulled away in the 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Energy Toyota to win for the third time on the Nationwide circuit
Finishing second was a positive for Blaney, but there was disappointment in not being able to finish the deal.
“You’re never happy about finishing second, but we have to take some positives out of every day,” said Blaney, who drives the 22 Penske Racing Discount Tire Ford. “Obviously, there are some things we could have done differently. We were the best on short runs. They (the 54 team) were better on new tires, and I couldn’t make up that gap. If we had 15 more laps we could have tracked him down.”
Blaney won the pole with a time of 136.081 at Iowa Speedway’s 7/8th mile oval track. He was in good position for his second Nationwide win throughout the race, turning in consistently fast times on long runs.
Hornish, however, was strong on restarts. He was able to get the lead late, and he took advantage of the 54 car’s strong performance on new tires.
“I couldn’t hang with him,” Blaney said. “He got around me, and I couldn’t track him down.”
Blaney has run the 22 car in four races this season. He will compete in 11 more Nationwide races, the next being June 27 at Kentucky Speedway. In addition, he’s running a full schedule on the Camping World truck circuit and two Sprint Cup races.
Blaney’s solid showing Sunday should provide momentum in building up to the Kentucky event.
“We obviously wanted to win, and we had a good enough car to do it on longer runs,” Blaney said. “The last two weeks have been tough in the truck series with some wrecks. We’ll take away good things from it (the Iowa race).”
Blaney finished 22nd Friday at the Camping World’s race at Charlotte Speedway after being involved in an accident. A week earlier his day was cut short because of an accident at Kansas Speedway, resulting in another 22nd place.