Ryan Blaney scored his first NASCAR Cup Series win of the 2021 season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday and recorded Ford’s fifth straight win in Atlanta. Blaney became the second Ford driver to drive a Ford Mustang to victory lane this season and sixth different Cup winner in as many races.
Blaney and the No. 12 pit crew worked together throughout the entire race to get the No. 12 in position to challenge for the lead. Blaney was able to come from more than two seconds behind to chase down the No. 5 of Kyle Larson with just eight laps to go, then took the lead with a cross over pass. Blaney was able to stretch his lead and take the checkered flag to record his fifth career NASCAR Cup Series race win.
The No. 12 Ford Performance Mustang led the race three different times for a total of 25 laps, but none more important than the last eight. This marked the 80th win for Team Penske with Ford Performance and the 180th Cup win for Roush Yates Engines.
“Gosh, we had a great long run car all day,” commented Blaney in post-race interview. “It took us a little bit to get going. I was pretty free all day, so we made a really good change to tighten me up where I needed it and it looked like Kyle was getting loose and I’m happy it worked in our favor that there was a couple long runs at the end that kind of let us get there. We’ve been good this year and had some bad breaks and it’s nice to close out a race like that. That was awesome.”
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time ever dirt track race this weekend.