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Ryan Blaney regains lead in OT, wins Trucks race at Pocono Raceway

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Saturday, Aug. 03, 2013

You don’t get many second chances in racing, but Ryan Blaney took full advantage of his.

After losing the lead on the start of the first two-lap overtime on Saturday, Blaney got another shot when another wreck forced a second, two-lap overtime.

This time on the start, Blaney cleared his nearest competitors and held off Miguel Paludo to win the Pocono Mountains 125 for his second career victory in the NASCAR Truck Series.

“We were good all day and I was able to get the lead pretty early in the race,” said Blaney. “We were definitely one of the best trucks. I lost a little bit getting to pit road under green and that was how we lost the lead.

“My truck was good enough to get to the lead and it was just a matter of getting close to make the move. I knew when those final restarts were coming you had to be really aggressive.”

Blaney led heading into the first overtime on Lap 51 but German Quiroga got a push from Paludo, which sent him into the lead. Johnny Sauter and Ty Dillon wrecked before the white flag came out to set a second overtime.

“Restarts were the only time you could make something happen,” Blaney said.

Blaney, 19, moved to third in the series standings, 62 behind series points leader Matt Crafton, who finished eighth.

Quiroga finished a career-best third, Joey Coulter was fourth and Blaney’s teammate at Brad Keselowski Racing, Ross Chastain, was fifth.

Todd Bodine, driving a one-race deal for Turner Scott Motorsports, was leading with three laps remaining in the scheduled 50-lap race when NASCAR called a caution for debris in Turn 1.

Bodine wrecked on the restart, allowing Blaney to move into the lead before the first overtime.

“We had one of them phantom cautions,” Bodine said of the debris caution. “They’ve got to make a show of it.”

Blaney is the first Ford driver to win a Truck race in four years. Colin Braun was the most recent Ford winner in 2009 at Michigan.



Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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