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Race report

NASCAR Cup Charlotte: Blaney caps Penske's big weekend with Coke 600 win

Ryan Blaney ended a long NASCAR Cup winless streak in convincing fashion in Monday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to hand his team owner Roger Penske another milestone victory.

Coming one day after Josef Newgarden won the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske, Blaney won out in a race delayed one day by rain after beating William Byron's Hendrick Chevrolet at a restart with 20 laps to go.

Blaney and Byron had traded the lead multiple times during the race, with Byron having the added advantage of the first pit stall which repeatedly gave him the lead off pit road.

The win is Blaney's first in a points-paying race since his August 2021 victory at Daytona, although he did win last year’s non-points All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"It's so cool just to be a part of it, let alone win it," Blaney said after celebrating with fans in the grandstands, much like Newgarden did on Sunday.

Asked what the result meant given his last victory was nearly two years ago, Blaney added: "You start to get to feel like you can't win anymore when you don't win in a while. It kind of gets hard.

"So, just super thankful to the No. 12 guys for believing in me. Thank you (fans) for sticking around. Really appreciate it."

Byron, who had been awarded pole after the rain also caused Saturday's qualifying session to be washed out, had edged Christopher Bell to claim the Stage 1 win in a photo finish.

The second stage was disrupted by light rain that caused a 31-minute delay in proceedings. An accident involving Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin exiting Turn 4 on lap 186, Elliott squeezed into the wall before bouncing into Hamlin and turning the Toyota into the wall, then ended the race early for both drivers. 

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro and Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, BodyArmor Cherry Lime Ford Mustang

William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro and Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, BodyArmor Cherry Lime Ford Mustang

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Chris Buescher had taken the Stage 2 spoils over Kevin Harvick, with Blaney fifth, but the Penske driver moved to the front and won Stage 3 after passing Byron then holding off Tyler Reddick. 

Midway through Stage 4, top-five contenders Reddick and Harvick exiting Turn 4 to send the race back under caution for the 13th time and set up a late restart with 38 laps remaining. Zane Smith, making just his sixth career Cup start, stayed out and led the way followed by Byron and Kyle Larson.

An incident involving Larson, Ty Gibbs, Joey Logano and Bell exiting Turn 2 then set up the final restart with 20 laps remaining. Blaney took command and never relinquished the lead to the flag.

Martin Truex Jr. finished third, Bubba Wallace rallied to finish fourth and his 23XI Racing teammate Tyler Reddick rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Buescher, Austin Dillon and Smith.

NASCAR Cup Charlotte race results (400 laps)

Cla Driver Manufacturer Time Gap
1 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 4:58'50.315  
2 United States William Byron Chevrolet 4:58'50.978 0.663
3 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 4:58'51.368 1.053
4 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 4:58'52.867 2.552
5 United States Tyler Reddick Toyota 4:58'52.983 2.668
6 United States Kyle Busch Chevrolet 4:58'53.848 3.533
7 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 4:58'55.434 5.119
8 United States Chris Buescher Ford 4:58'56.496 6.181
9 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 4:58'56.882 6.567
10 Zane Smith Ford 4:58'57.486 7.171
11 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 4:58'58.464 8.149
12 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 4:58'58.558 8.243
13 United States Ryan Preece Ford 4:58'59.592 9.277
14 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 4:58'59.988 9.673
15 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 4:59'00.206 9.891
16 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 4:59'01.870 11.555
17 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 4:59'03.273 12.958
18 United States Harrison Burton Ford 4:59'03.610 13.295
19 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 4:59'03.942 13.627
20 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 4:59'04.296 13.981
21 United States Joey Logano Ford 4:59'05.691 15.376
22 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 4:59'05.841 15.526
23 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 4:59'07.447 17.132
24 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 4:59'13.079 22.764
25 United States Aric Almirola Ford 4:59'15.411 25.096
26 Ty Gibbs Toyota 4:59'13.101 2 Laps
27 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 4:59'15.829 3 Laps
28 United States Michael McDowell Ford 4:59'10.747 4 Laps
29 United States B.J. McLeod Chevrolet 4:58'55.302 8 Laps
30 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 4:44'56.266 23 Laps
31 United States Austin Cindric Ford 4:33'09.561 31 Laps
32 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 4:59'07.813 59 Laps
33 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 3:16'34.007 135 Laps
34 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 2:12'41.801 215 Laps
35 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 2:12'42.155 215 Laps
36 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 2:00'39.079 283 Laps
37 United States Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 1:53'31.515 285 Laps

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