TALLADEGA, Ala. - For the third time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, Ryan Blaney found Victory Lane in Alabama by winning the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in an extraordinary fashion.
The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang crossed the line just .012 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick, which would have resulted in Blaney's third win at the 2.66-mile track coming within a margin of fewer than .015 seconds. After the race, Harvick got disqualified and William Byron was promoted to the runner-up posit
Blaney clinched a spot in the Round of 8 after entering Talladega 11 points below the cutline.
"I’m just proud of the whole 12 group," Blaney said. "Pennzoil, Menards, BodyArmor, Dex Imaging, Advance Auto Parts, Wurth, everybody who makes this possible. To win here three times at Talladega is super cool.
"I have to give a big thanks to Riley Herbst, he did a really good job there the last couple restarts. He doesn’t have a lot of Cup starts, but he did a great job and pushed me so thanks to him. This is so cool."
Blaney is one of a few drivers in NASCAR who does not do an over-the-top burnout after winning a race. When asked about this post-race, Blaney gave a fun response.
"Dale Inman told me the winner of the Kentucky Derby doesn’t get off his horse and start beating the s*** out of it," Blaney said.
This is not the first time Blaney has been questioned about his post-race celebration. Back in 2017 when he won his first Cup Series race at Pocono, Blaney also refused to do a traditional burnout.
Results from the 2023 YellaWood 500 are listed below.
After crossing the line just .012 seconds behind Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Ford Mustang were so close to getting the team's first win of the season and potentially the last of Harvick's Cup Series career.
Unfortunately, for Harvick, his car failed post-race inspection as it was deemed by NASCAR that the windshield fasteners were not secure, which resulted in his second-place finish turning into a 38th-place result.
Prior to the disqualification, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver felt like "Happy Harvick."
"I knew we were in a great spot there with Riley (Herbst) behind us and I don’t know where he spun out," Harvick said. "But he got spun out and I knew that if he was still there by the time we got to the end of the tri-oval we were gonna be in really good shape and then at that particular point it was just kind of where we were.
"I tried to put a donut on his door and slow him down just a little bit, but just a great effort and we came up a little short."
This disqualification is the 50th in Cup Series history and it marks the first disqualification since Brad Keselowski at Martinsville last season.
Other Race Facts
Riley Herbst was up toward the front all day long and ran inside the top three before he was spun coming to the checkered flag. Herbst went on to finish ninth and now has two top-10 finishes in just four starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Denny Hamlin earned his fourth straight top five en route to a 50-point gap above the cutline heading into the final race of the Round of 8.
"Not how we drew it up, but a dub is a dub and that was a dub in our book – it’s as close as it gets to it," Hamlin said. "I’m proud of this whole Mavis Toyota team for bringing me a car fast enough to win.
"When I had to go there, I could and made the right moves at the right time and a top five is a long way from where we were with about 15 laps to go."
Hamlin's teammate Martin Truex Jr. finished outside the top 15 for the sixth straight time, according to NASCAR statistician Trey Ryan. This marks the first time since 2011 that Truex Jr. failed to finish inside the top 15 for six races in a row.
The 2023 YellaWood 500 had 70 lead changes among 24 different drivers. This was also the first time since 2011 that this occurred.
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 26 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.
MOST RECENT FINISH
Martin Truex Jr.
Week 27 of the GRID Ranking:
The next race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank Of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 8. Coverage begins on NBC at 2 p.m. ET.
GRID Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GRIDRanking
GRID Ranking: https://twitter.com/GridRanking
GRID TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@gridnetwork
GRID Buy Me A Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/gridnetwork
GRID Website: https://www.gridranking.com/
GRID History: https://twitter.com/Grid_History
GRID YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@gridranking