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June 14, 2020

Ryan Blaney

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We've now been joined by Ryan Blaney. We will begin with questions for Ryan.

Q. Could you talk about how you adjusted with all the delays and whatnot?
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah, it was a little bit different. Obviously we raced later than we thought. But, you know, on the other side of that, the race that we're used to down here usually ends a little bit later like that, too. At nighttime at least.
Had a little bit of an idea of where the track was going to go. We just kept adjusting all night. It's difficult getting in and out of the car. That just stinks. But the safety side has to be important of it. It's part of it.
It was definitely unfortunate, but nice once we got rolling to not stop.

Q. Feels like we're talking to you a lot this year. This is your fourth consecutive top‑five finish. What's been working for you on the whole?
RYAN BLANEY: Just bringing good cars to the racetrack and executing pretty well. Besides Bristol here recently, we've been finishing really strong. Now just a mistake on my part.
Todd Gordon, the whole No.12 group, is doing really good. We can run two through five, we just have to figure out how to break through and get the win.
I think we're really close. Keep running like this, hopefully it will come soon.

Q. Going to Talladega where you won last October, how do you feel with the momentum of these recent finishes? Or is there nothing that you carry to Talladega?
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah, you hit it, not a lot you carry to it as far as things that you can carry that just kind of relate to with these tracks that we've been running. That's just a whole 'nother beast. We say it all the time: you get caught up in someone else's stuff, it's just part of it.
But I enjoy speedway racing. It's just kind of a different deal. I'm excited to see the new rules package. We're going to get a firsthand for it right in the race, no practice. I'm excited to see what that does.
As far as the momentum side, yeah, you feel good for sure, stringing together some decent runs. It's hard to kind of carry that over to Talladega. You just never know what can happen.

Q. Are you happy with the change in the rules? Do you think it will lessen the runs that you get on each other?
RYAN BLANEY: I hope so. That was something that we talked about with NASCAR. The runs were gigantic. We get hooked up, that made your runs even bigger. I hope the runs aren't as big.
There's a fine line. You need the draft to work to where you get runs on cars, but not monstrous drafts where it's dangerous to kind of block them and things like that. Hopefully we can find a fair in between.
I'm looking forward to it. I know NASCAR did their research on hopefully trying to figure out a good balance of that.

Q. Is it more positive that you strung five together or is there a little bit of frustration you can't quite get over the top? More good than bad?
RYAN BLANEY: We could be running 20th every week, so...
You're proud of the runs that you've created and the speed our team's got. I'm proud of that. I mean, yeah, we haven't won yet with running really good this year. The way I look at it is, just keep running up towards the front like that, I think those things come.
Just proud of the speed we have, that we're close. Just little things will go a long way when you're this close. If you have to find 15 spots worth of speed, that's when it's troublesome.
Just proud of the efforts. Not frustrated or anything. Just hopefully we can keep this up and keep getting a little bit better week in, week out.

Q. Talladega, how big of a win was that for you, to be able to put that on a résumé, a speedway win?
RYAN BLANEY: It was great. I grew up there watching dad run there a lot. Obviously the history of that place is pretty special. To do it in the Playoffs in the fashion we did it, the finish was pretty neat. Yeah, just a fun thing to do.
Now the new infield, new Victory Lane, when we were able to win that race. It was special because I remember going to that place a lot as a kid.

Q. You ran the top really well. Was that more your approach this weekend or something you talked with Todd about?
RYAN BLANEY: Running the fence?

Q. Yes.
RYAN BLANEY: It's just the fast way around this place. When you get laps on tires, you see it in all the races, whether it's trucks, Xfinity, Cup races, you got a handful of guys that can just rip the fence. It just helps on your long runs so much. That's great. Had that mindset. Todd and I talked about that this week.
We thought it was going to come more into play when we originally were supposed to race in the daytime, when it was going to be hotter. It still came into play a lot.
One and two, you could kind of run around a little bit, late runs. I was running off the wall pretty good. Three and four you had to be glued to the top. If you weren't right against the wall, you were not going fast.
The bad thing about that is everyone rubs the wall. Us four ‑ the 11, the 9, myself and the 8 ‑ we just got bunched together. You just kind of stall out. That's the bad thing about everyone running the wall.
That being the fast way, sometimes it's a lack of options. That is just something we planned on it. Actually got better all night. I couldn't run the wall very good early in the race. I was really tight getting in against the wall. We got a lot better as we went.

Q. The Xfinity Series had its doubleheader this weekend. Anything you guys are going to be able to learn or apply from what the 22 Xfinity team went through this weekend and apply that to Pocono?
RYAN BLANEY: I'm not sure. I'm not too sure what the deal is going to be on that. Probably have a decent idea of personnel and changes they got to make just using the same car and things like that.
I'm sure those guys will be in talks of how they went about it and how it went.

Q. After 12 races, other than a win, is the 22 season going better than what you thought? About what you thought? How would you evaluate the first 12 races?
RYAN BLANEY: It's been going well. I feel like Todd and I have gotten along really well. We've communicated great. The only thing that really stands out to me, some races we don't start off very good. Atlanta and Martinsville we didn't start off very good, but at the end of the race we were very good.
We haven't worked together that long. To be able to communicate like that kind of in the early part of our relationship has been really nice. I look back at a lot of the finishes, bad finishes we've had, of me wrecking in Bristol, tire coming apart at Fontana, the caution coming out in Vegas, we've had some really strong runs. That's something to be proud of.
I was looking forward to it, looking forward to working with Todd. It's been a nice run we've been on here. I hopefully can't wait to get that first win together here soon. The group deserves it. We're running good enough to do it. Just got to get a little bit better.
THE MODERATOR: Ryan, we appreciate your time. Wish you the best of luck next week in Talladega.
RYAN BLANEY: Thank you.

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