“Everyone makes mistakes”: Ryan Blaney absolves Roger Penske and company for the serious mistake that ‘fueled’ their misery

The Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) was a race full of dramatic turns and unexpected results. Reigning Cup champion Ryan Blaney was on the verge of getting a win and securing a playoff spot. However, a miscalculation caused a premature fuel shortage, causing his car to slow just as the checkered flag was in sight.

Blaney’s teammate Austin Cindric took advantage of this misfortune and earned his second career Cup victory. The incident has raised questions about the internal dynamics of Team Penske and Blaney’s perspective on the situation. Could this be a pivotal moment for Ryan Blaney and his relationship with the team?

The WWTR debacle and Ryan Blaney’s perspective


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In the exciting race at WWTR, the #12 Ford was leading with 64 laps remaining after a strategic pit stop that put it ahead on fresh tires. As the laps wound down, he faced fierce competition from Christopher Bell, another Championship 4 contender from the previous season.

Reflecting on the race, the Penske driver shared his frustration, stating: “It stopped working. Just one lap less. I thought we were pretty good. They must not have filled it as much as they thought. I thought we were pretty good going to the end, and it wasn’t meant to be that way.Despite the setback, the 2023 Cup champion maintained a positive outlook, acknowledging his team’s efforts and the unpredictable nature of racing.

In his interview with Bob, Blaney showed a well-rounded attitude. He explained, “Yeah, we all make mistakes and everyone makes mistakes. I make them every weekend. We all expect perfection from the entire team, but people make mistakes. Actually what happened was that we thought there was more in the tank than there really was. We put enough fuel into it at the last stop judging by what we thought was there before that. So yeah, a little mistake, a little math error, but yeah, you just learn from those things and move on.”

Blaney’s sportsmanship was evident as he focused on the positives and importance of resilience. He stressed the need to maintain a positive attitude ahead of the next race in Sonoma Racewaysaying, ” Proud of the day. It’s just one of those offers.” His ability to overcome the mishap and prepare for future challenges underscores the mental toughness required in motorsports.

Learning from the past is crucial


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Car number 12 is not the only one suffering anguish in the final laps. Kevin Harvick, former driver of SHR’s No. 4 Ford, faced a similar situation at the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen in 2015. Harvick led but had to save fuel for the remaining 15 laps of the race. Joey Logano in his number 22 Ford overtook him in the final corner and took the victory. This race highlighted how thin the line between triumph and disaster can be when it comes to fuel management.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s case is also similar, as he experienced a terrible fuel fiasco during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2011. On the final lap, completely out of gas down the stretch, Earnhardt’s car He let Kevin Harvick pass him for his seventh victory of the year. The audience went from euphoria to tranquility in a matter of minutes. It ended Dale Jr.’s chance of breaking his three-year winless streak, bringing to light how even the most experienced drivers can be surprised, thus underscoring that racing itself is unpredictable.

USA Today via Reuters

Ryan Blaney can take solace in these events and maintain his composure for Sonoma Raceway. Looking at his stats for the 2024 season, it is clear that Ryan Blaney has had a great performance. He is currently 12th in the standings, he has five top 10 finishes and four top 5 finishes in 15 races. So far he has achieved a pole position and has led for 143 laps. Not to mention the fact that he already qualified for the No. 3 grid at Sonoma Raceway, indicating a positive start for the Penske driver.


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Although Blaney has yet to take a checkered flag this season, his consistent performances hint at positive news in the near future.

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