CUP: Blaney Holds Back Johnson To Complete Texas Two-Step

Jacob Seelman Cup 0 Comments

Ryan Blaney leads a pack of cars Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Ryan Blaney continued his impressive roll at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, becoming the third driver to sweep the first two stages of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season.

Blaney led every green flag lap in Stage 2 of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, taking the lead from Martin Truex Jr. on a lap 93 restart and ultimately holding off defending and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on a three-lap dash to the green-checkered flag.

He joins Kevin Harvick (Atlanta) and Martin Truex Jr. (Las Vegas) in the category of those who have won both stages one and two of a Cup event this year.

The 23-year-old High Point, N.C. native has now led four times for 146 of 170 laps in Sunday’s race, marking the first time since 1982 at Rockingham (Neil Bonnett) that a Wood Brothers entry has led more than 100 laps in a Cup event.

Johnson came home second for his best stage result so far this season, followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.

Chase Elliott completed the top five, ahead of Kurt Busch, polesitter Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.

Only two cautions flew during the second stage, both coming as a result of debris on the race track.

The first slowdown occurred on lap 123, while the second came with seven to go in the stage after a piece came off of Gray Gaulding’s Toyota.

With split pit strategy coming just before the end of the stage, the top 19 cars stayed out at the second stage break, putting Blaney back in 20th for the second half of Sunday’s race.


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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