Ryan Blaney and the Wood Brothers win at Pocono in thrilling finish

Ryan Blaney vowed to deliver the Wood Brothers their 99th career NASCAR win this season.

On Sunday, he carried the venerable No. 21 Motorcraft Ford back to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway for the third time at the 2.5-mile track and the first time since Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500.

Blaney led the final 10 laps to win his first Monster Energy Cup Series win in his 68th start,

“I cant believe it,” Blaney said.

Blaney, 24, was the third first-time winner of 2017. Kevin Harvick was second followed by Erik Jones, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski.

"It's a hard one to process," Blaney said in an impromptu interview in Victory Lane with fellow Cup driver Brad Keselowski, who was quickly added to Fox Sports announce team after Blaney took the checkered flag. "First, we had to pass Kyle (Busch), he was older tires and he was struggling on older tires.

"Then, we had to hold Kevin (Harvick) off. He was really fast all day. I just didn't want to make a mistake - that would have been the worst thing to do. I have to thank him for racing me really clean.

"It's the Wood Brothers' 99th win and that's really special and it was a lot of fun."

Keselowski then asked what the party was going to be like and Blaney responded, "Well, you're invited! I'm definitely going to party with these guys (his team) because they're a great group. We've had a lot of bad luck the past month-and-a-half, and it's great to be back to where we should run.

"This is really cool, really cool."

Kyle Busch took the green flag with 54 laps remaining in the Pocono 400. Erik Jones lined up second followed by Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard, Daniel Suarez, Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Blaney quickly moved up to second on the restart. After the first five laps, it was Busch, Blaney, Jones, Truex, Patrick, Kurt Busch, Menard, Bayne and Chase Elliott.

With 40 laps remaining, Busch held a 4.4-second lead over Blaney with the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford closing in. Jones ran third followed by Truex, Kurt Busch, Elliott, Hamlin, Larson, Harvick and Keselowski.

The leaders started pitting on Lap 123, first with Jones, Blaney from second-place on Lap 124 followed by Harvick, Bayne and Menard. Kyle Busch pit from the lead on Lap 125 turning he lead over to Truex. Truex led five laps before pitting on Lap 129.

On Lap 130, Keselowski took the point followed by Ty Dillon and Stenhouse. All three drivers had yet to pit in the segment. Busch passed Stenhouse, then Dillon but when Keselowski crossed the line on Lap 135, he held an 11.9-second lead over Kyle Busch. Dillon pit on the same lap. Stenhouse came to pit road one lap later.

With 20 laps remaining, Keselowski relinquished the lead to pit. Kyle Busch took the point followed by Truex, Blaney, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Larson, Elliott, Jones, Hamlin and Logano. Busch had a 7.8-second lead over Truex.

The fourth caution occurred that same lap when Kasey Kahne hit the wall in Turn 1. He was running 19th.

Busch remained on the track along with Keselowski. Jones, who took right-side tires, was the first car off of pit road followed by Blaney, Truex, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Stenhouse, Elliott, Hamlin, Larson, Menard, Kenseth, Logano, Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick.

Twenty-four cars remained on lead lap when the race returned to green with 13 laps remaining. Busch extended his lead as Blaney rolled past Keselowski and Jones for second. Harvick was fourth followed by Keselowski on Lap 148. Kurt Busch, Truex, Elliott, Stenhouse and Hamlin rounded out the top 10.

With 10 to go, Blaney moved to the inside of Busch for the lead with Harvick passing Jones for third. Harvick passed Busch for second on the next lap. With seven laps remaining, Busch dropped to fifth on old tires. Blaney’s advantage was 0.487-seconds over Harvick followed by Jones, Keselowski and Busch.

Blaney had a two-car lead on Harvick coming to the line with four laps remaining. Harvick continued to stalk the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford all the way to the white flag. Blaney beat Harvick to the line by 0.139-seconds.

Truex, Larson, Elliott, Kyle Busch and Kenseth rounded out the top 10.

Watch a recap of Blaney's historic win below. Click on the image to watch: 

Busch’s 100-lap led were a race high. There were 13 lead changes among nine drivers. The race was slowed by four cautions for 18 laps.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 160   10
2 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 160 0.139  
3 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 160 1.822 20
4 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 160 3.112  
5 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 160 3.328 11
6 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 160 4.557 5
7 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 160 4.764 9
8 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 160 5.889  
9 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 160 7.265 100
10 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 160 7.625  
11 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 160 8.608 3
12 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 160 8.996 1
13 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 160 9.824  
14 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 160 10.579  
15 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 160 11.766 1
16 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 160 12.955  
17 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 160 13.879  
18 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 160 15.593  
19 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 160 15.651  
20 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 160 15.702  
21 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 160 17.382  
22 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 160 18.046  
23 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 160 27.534  
24 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 160 42.487  
25 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 159 1 lap  
26 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Ford 159 1 lap  
27 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 158 2 laps  
28 83 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 157 3 laps  
29 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 156 4 laps  
30 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 155 5 laps  
31 15 united_states Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 154 6 laps  
32 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 153 7 laps  
33 55 united_states Derrike Cope  Chevrolet 153 7 laps  
34 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 146 14 laps  
35 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 140 20 laps  
36 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 95 65 laps  
37 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 95 65 laps  
38 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 58 102 laps  
39 51 united_states Cody Ware  Chevrolet 35 125 laps  
Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Pocono
Track Pocono Raceway
Drivers Ryan Blaney
Teams Wood Brothers Racing
Article type Race report