Ryan Blaney Wins NASCAR Cup Series Race At Talladega By A Nose

NASCAR playoffs 12
NASCAR playoffs 12

It was barely Blaney!

Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney booked a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs Round of Eight with a last-lap pass on Kevin Harvick, beating the retiring driver to the checkered flag by .012 seconds in one of the closest finishes in Talladega Superspeedway history.

Blaney took advantage of a late push from Xfinity Series driver Riley Herbst in the Front Row Motorsports #36 Ford Mustang, who was making just his fourth Cup Series start.

“Pretty wild last restart, let alone last couple of laps, kinda losing momentum, getting it back, just getting clear to the bottom to get a kick to the front row … drag racing it out with Kevin,” Blaney said on NBC after the win, his third at the track.

Herbst was hit from behind by Corey LaJoie just before the finish line, which caused a multi-car crash that was just the third wreck in the race.


The first came on the last lap of the first stage, when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran out of fuel and bunched up the field, leading to playoffs contender Ross Chastain wrecking out of the race.

Chastain was later joined on the sidelines by fellow playoffs driver Brad Keselowski, who ran up the back of Carson Hocevar’s car with 27 laps to go, which caused a “big one” that ultimately sent him into the wall.

The results leave William Byron and Blaney with spots in the next round, followed by Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Keselowski in the top eight, while Tyler Reddick, Chastain, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch are all below the cutline heading to the Charlotte Roval on Sunday, Oct. 8.