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Ryan Blaney falls short as Christopher Bell wins NASCAR Cup race at Homestead

Ryan Blaney falls short as Christopher Bell wins NASCAR Cup race at Homestead

Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney lost the 4EVER 400, the second race of the round of 16, to Christopher Bell by 1.651 seconds Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney admitted he needed a longer race to catch up and challenge Bell for the win. However, his No. 12 Ford car had enough speed to finish second, which was an important step into the playoff semifinal.

It was a good day for Blaney as he started on pole and won the second stage, leading the second most laps of the race (53 of 267). He took the lead on lap 243 and lost it after just one lap, but returned to second behind Bell with six laps remaining. However, the No. 20 car driven by Bell held off Blaney to win the race.

After the race, Ryan Blaney explained what went wrong in the final laps against Bell.

“We were trying. We just needed rides. The long-term car was really good. I just couldn’t get going for about ten laps. I think the cooling of the track helped these guys. I think we were better in warmer, slipperier conditions, when shot speed didn’t matter as much and it fell off quicker,” Blaney was quoted as saying by motorsport.com.

Blaney also said:

“It was a little cooler at the end, and we never really found the speed up front and they did. We ran out of laps a bit. I’m proud of the effort. It was a really good day, we just got a little beat at the end.

“Hopefully we can do it again next week” – Ryan Blaney optimistic about his place in the Championship 4 race

After P6 and P2 results in both Round of 16 races, the Team Penske driver said he had two solid weeks in a row and hopes to repeat the same at next week’s Martinsville race.

Ryan Blaney went ahead and shared his thoughts on the qualifying scenario with one race remaining to qualify for the Championship 4 race at Phoenix Raceway.

“I hope we can play. We had two good weeks in a row in Vegas and here. We’ve had a good weekend, so hopefully we can do it again next week. It’s nice to come in here with a good piece of the field and then go to Martinsville with a positive note. We just have to perform. We have to race well,” Blaney was quoted as saying by motorsport.com.

Ryan Blaney sits third in the points standings, 10 points ahead of fifth-place Tylere Reddick for the final spot.

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