Blaney or­ders dou­ble shot of ‘prove y’all wrong’

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - SPORTS - By Dan Gel­ston

DOVER, Del. — Ryan Blaney kept the party rolling from his first win this sea­son long enough to stim­u­late busi­ness at his fa­vorite bar. He soaked in the cel­e­bra­tion from his check­ered flag on the “roval” at Char­lotte. Now he hopes to stamp him­self a con­tender in the next round of NASCAR’s play­offs.

Blaney, one of NASCAR’s blos­som­ing young stars, earned an au­to­matic spot in the sec­ond round when he zipped past Jim­mie John­son and Martin Truex Jr. for the sur­prise win on the speed­way and in­field road course blend.

Blaney had some fun at the ex­pense of a Fox Sports panel that pre­dicted he would fail to ad­vance out of both the first and sec­ond rounds of the three-race play­off rounds. He tweeted a clip of the stu­dio show where panelists left him out of the round of eight and wrote, “Sure hope to prove y’all wrong once again.”

“Yeah, to be hon­est with you I had a few to drink that night when I said that,” Blaney said, laugh­ing. “I saw that and it rubbed me the wrong way. I was just mess­ing around.”

The Team Penske driver got the last laugh at Char­lotte. But even he is not con­vinced one win au­to­mat­i­cally made him a ti­tle con­tender along with for­mer se­ries cham­pi­ons Truex, Las Ve­gas na­tive Kyle Busch, Brad Ke­selowski and Kevin Har­vick.

The chase to­ward the ti­tle con­tin­ues Sun­day at Dover In­ter­na­tional Speed­way with the Gan­der Out­doors 400. Tal­ladega Su­per­speed­way and Kan­sas Speed­way also make up the races in the sec­ond round.

The last four driv­ers stand­ing af­ter three rounds will race for the best fin­ish at Home­stead-Mi­ami Speed­way on Nov. 18 to be crowned the 2018 NASCAR Mon­ster En­ergy Cup Se­ries cham­pion.

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