NASCAR Cup Series: After Slow Starts, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick’s Fortunes Rise At Phoenix Raceway

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What’s the deal with NASCAR Cup Series drivers Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick? 

Fans wondered.  

The way Blaney ended 2021, why has he yet to find that extra gear? 

The way Riddick takes calculated risks, shouldn’t he start reaping more rewards? 

Insiders still wonder. 

Even after Blaney placed second and Riddick third at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday. 

So, what’s the deal?

Ryan Blaney Searching for 2021 Form, Results

Blaney capped the 2021 regular season with back-to-back checkered flags. The second win came during the fall race at Daytona International Speedway when he slyly maneuvered around a multi-car melee.

Blaney, who captured a career-high three wins two seasons ago, has not visited Victory Lane during his past 50 starts. Last season, he compiled 17 top-10 finishes and his average finish was 13.6.

At Phoenix, Blaney pitted for a two-tire change with eight laps to go. He emerged in third place and challenged Kyle Larson by driving low. Larson executed a block, but before Blaney had a chance to make a last-lap charge, an accident sent the event into overtime.

In third place on the restart, Blaney attempted a move to the inside of Larson, but Reddick provided William Byron a push to the lead. Blaney finished 0.330 seconds behind Byron, who has earned consecutive checkered flags.

After placing eighth during the season-opening Daytona 500, Blaney struggled with a 26th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway and 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Can Blaney return to his ’21 form? Fifty and counting …

Tyler Reddick Ends Seven-Race Slump

Following three events, Reddick ranked 34th in the Cup Series points standings, equal with motorsports icon Travis Pastrana, who only appeared in the Daytona 500.

How’s that for humbling?

Reddick crashed out the first two weeks, placing 39th at Daytona and 34th at Fontana.
Coming off three wins last season, Reddick led 503 laps. This season? Of 792 rotations, he led three during a 15th-place finish at Las Vegas.

Reddick earned the primary assist on Byron’s win when he provided the Hendrick Motorsports driver a push past Larson and Blaney.

On the Lap 310 restart, Reddick came out in ninth place and charged past five cars when a late accident caused overtime.

Before Reddick’s top-three finish Sunday, his average finish in his past seven Cup events was 30.1.

Can Reddick return to last year’s runs? 23XI Racing fans are waiting …

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