Ryan Blaney ends a 59-race winless streak with a Coca-Cola 600 victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series kicks off the last half of the regular season with a crown jewel event. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the year and a race where the winner earns respect for their endurance. The Memorial Weekend event is kicked off by honoring those fighting for our everyday freedom. It is always a great event that allows Americans to share their gratitude. The atmosphere of this crown jewel is always a spectacular display for fans.
The Early Leader is William Byron
After a rain delay from Sunday, William Byron jumped out to the lead on an overcast Monday afternoon. He led the field for the opening 32 laps before Christopher Bell took time to track him down. Bell passes for the lead right before the competition caution came out.
Coming out of the caution, William Byron jumps back out front to take control for the final half of the first segment.
Byron led through a caution involving Jimmie Johnson and held off a late charge from Christopher Bell to win the first stage.
Cautions Headline the Second Stage
In the second segment, William Byron and Christopher Bell continue their fight for the lead. Bell took control seventeen laps in, taking the field on a long green flag run. With 43 laps remaining, a caution flag waved as the skies opened with rain.
Once the race returned to green, the field struggled to hold it together. Multiple cautions came out for Jimmie Johnson spinning around once more. With 24 laps remaining, Kyle Busch lost control coming out of the second turn. Shortly afterward, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott wrecked each other out of the race.
Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher controlled the final restart, and it was Chris Buescher edging off Ryan Blaney. Buescher led the final eight laps to win the second stage.
Ryan Blaney versus William Byron Continues in the Third Stage
Starting the third segment, Ryan Blaney and William Byron continued their battle for the lead. Blaney took control early but could not settle in the top spot as Christopher Bell spun around.
Ryan Blaney jumped back out front with 63 laps remaining in the stage and separated himself from the field. With 25 laps remaining, Todd Gilliland spun around after running up the track into Brad Keselowski.
Once again, Ryan Blaney beat William Byron on the restart and controlled the final nineteen laps to win the third stage.
Ryan Blaney Ends a 59-Race Winless Streak with a Coca-Cola 600 Victory
Continuing to dominate his way through the final stage Ryan Blaney held his course. A caution came out with 66 laps remaining as Michael McDowell had a tire fall off. William Byron controlled the following restart, but the race was not under the green flag for long.
Kevin Harvick spun around off the fourth turn after he moved up the track into Tyler Reddick. Two more quick caution flags waved after Ricky Stenhouse Jr and AJ Allmendinger spun around. Shortly after, Kyle Larson took a spin from fourth place. He collected Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and Ty Gibbs in the wreck.
Ryan Blaney was able to hold off William Byron on the restart with 19 laps remaining. Ryan Blaney led the rest of the laps, ending his 59-race winless streak. He brought his racing machine to win his first Coca-Cola 600.
The action picked up in a hurry coming out of the all-star race. There were twelve cautions in yesterday’s 600-mile bout, which is plenty compared to years prior. Drivers fought a green track as it took on a lot of rain over the weekend. It was a good test for Ryan Blaney who was able to adjust coming into the second half of the race. Once he took control, he would not be denied the race lead. Blaney led 163 laps out of the 400 total laps run. All of which came after stage two. Ryan Blaney has had a successful season thus far with eight top-ten finishes. Now they earned the breakthrough win that his team should feel good about. Blaney carries a momentum boost heading into the summer.