NASCAR Cup Series Race Report - Chicago Street Race: Ryan Blaney
On Sunday, July 2nd, the NASCAR world saw its first street race with the Cup Series' inaugural Grant Park 220 held in the heart of downtown Chicago! The heavy rainfall in the city created some unique circumstances, but the race was ultimately held and won by Shane Van Gisbergen in what was his debut NASCAR Cup Series race!
Würth driver, Ryan Blaney, had a challenging day. Blaney started from 17th in Sunday's inaugural Chicago Street Course race as single-file racing took place during the opening laps with teams in wet weather tires in damp conditions. While running 19th at the time of the second caution of the day on lap 12, Blaney made his first trip to pit road for fuel only as the No. 12 team looked to gain track position with a green flag pit cycle looming. Shortly after the restart on lap 17, Blaney made contact with the wall and suffered right front damage, forcing him to come to pit road for repairs to the right front toe link. After rejoining the field two laps down, Blaney crossed the line 37th at the end of Stage 1. As track conditions began to improve, Blaney made his way to pit road under green on lap 27 for four slick tires, but was forced to make an additional stop on the following lap to remove the blocker in the windshield air duct. After the race distance was shortened to 75 laps, Blaney earned the free pass under caution on lap 57 and maneuvered his way around several late-race incidents to come away with a 33rd-place finish.
BLANEY'S THOUGHTS: "Tough one for our No. 12 crew, wish we could have had a better showing in an event like this. We got put in a tough spot with the right front damage early but ended up being too big of a hole to climb out of."