Ryan Blaney’s Horror Richmond Run Gets Worse as He Joins Christopher Bell in Post Race Inspection

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For a defending champion, Ryan Blaney has been a non-factor in determining the winner of a race quite a few times so far in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. He has finished outside of the top 10 in the last 3 races including a P19 at Richmond on Sunday. And that’s not even the worst part. After the race, it was revealed that the #12 Ford Dark Horse Mustang and Christopher Bell‘s #20 Toyota Camry would be taken to NASCAR’s R&D department for inspection. If they find anything fishy, the Team Penske man could find himself outside of the top 20.
Ryan Blaney could lose spots after Richmond race or be disqualified
You wouldn’t know how the Richmond race was for Ryan Blaney because at no point during the event was he ever in a position to fight for the lead. Unfortunately, this has been a recurring occurrence ever since he finished in the top five for three consecutive races: Atlanta (P2), Vegas (P3), and Phoenix (P5). Maybe he will find his form towards the end of the season like he did in 2023 but for now, Team Penske has a lot to be concerned about.
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And then there’s this looming inspection. NASCAR, in recent times, has been brutal with these things and their penalties. So much so that even former drivers who used to love the sport have spoken out against it. The #12 and #20 cars will have to be close to perfection when it comes to their regulations to keep their positions. Otherwise, they might run the risk of falling down the order or even being disqualified. Apart from Blaney and Bell, Kyle Larson’s #5 car and Kyle Busch’s #8 will also be taken in for engine dyno and no inspection.
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While an inspection already puts a crease on a driver’s forehead, for Ryan Blaney that’s not the only cause for concern. It’s safe to say that the Richmond performance might have disappointed him more than anyone, which was evident from his pre-race comments. As per a report in NASCAR, the defending Cup Series champion seemed to be in high spirits but it all came crashing down.
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Reigning champion dissects how he’s falling behind when it comes to his car
Just like Ford, Toyota also came out with a new car for this year’s Cup Series campaign but seemed to run it a lot better than their competitors. Ryan Blaney believes that there is a lot more his team could do to improve their performance with the Ford Dark Horse Mustang and was eyeing Richmond as the track to take the first steps towards that goal.
“It’s a place we got to improve a little bit, just kind of overall. Toyota has done a good job of having a new car and figuring out what they need to do right away to be competitive. We did a lot of hard work in the winter trying to figure out, ‘OK, where’s the maximum potential of this new car’, and we just haven’t quite hit that yet, and we’re working on it. I mean, you’re trying and it’s hard to do, especially when there’s no testing or anything like that. You don’t know where you’re at until you unload at the race track,” he said.
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It will be interesting to see how the defending Cup Series champion comes back from this setback. Will he be able to finish higher up the table in Martinsville next weekend?

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