Ryan Blaney imagined he had clinched the NASCAR All-Star Race, but he didn’t, eventually won it in overtime for maybe the first time.
Supposedly, Blaney grabbed the checkered flag in front of Denny Hamlin, but on the penultimate lap, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. collided with the backstretch wall, prompting a caution.
Blaney would have been crowned champion under regular circumstances, but specific rules for Sunday night’s race required the champion to claim the triumph under a green flag.
That forced the last 50-lap phase at Texas Motor Speedway into a two-lap overtime period, but there was a catch: Blaney had already let down the window net on the driver’s side of his No. 12 Ford, assuming he had triumphed.
On the restart, Blaney jury-rigged the netting as best he could, then held off Hamlin by 0.266 seconds to take the All-Star triumph.
Some people were upset about the issue because NASCAR rules state that window netting fasteners must be “fully secured and remain tight during an event.”
Despite the fact that Blaney has yet to triumph in the Cup Series, he has been one of the best-performing racers this season.
“It was looking real bad for us. I thought the race was over and I let the window net down. I do want to thank NASCAR for letting kind of fix it and not make us come down pit road,” Blaney said. “Yeah, that was really tough.
“Then I had to kind of do it all over again after getting that window net back up there. Great car. This No. 12 group did a great job. This is cool. I know it’s not a points-winning race but it’s going to be a lot of fun and the party’s going to be pretty big.”
Austin Cindric took third place, Joey Logano fourth, and Daniel Suarez fifth.
Alex Bowman, A.J. Allmendinger, Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, and Christopher Bell rounded out the top ten finishers.
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Denny Hamlin, Grand Prix, IndyCar, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Ryan Blaney, Texas Motor Speedway, XFinity