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HomeSportKyle Larson’s Bullying Cut Short by Resurgent Ryan Blaney Stealing Away the First Stage at Iowa

Kyle Larson’s Bullying Cut Short by Resurgent Ryan Blaney Stealing Away the First Stage at Iowa

by News7

Iowa Speedway is a track Ryan Blaney is familiar with. Having raked in two wins in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (2012) and Xfinity Series (2015), the Team Penske driver knows how to wield a vehicle around the 0.875-mile oval. When Blaney was about to snatch the pole at the first-ever Cup race on the racetrack, a nagging rival got in his way, as Kyle Larson posted a slightly better speed at qualifying.

However, after a constant battle between Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson, the tables turned again. The defending champion got ahead of Larson.

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The Goodyear tire test was a feather in his cap, which the Hendrick Motorsports driver used to the fullest as he prevailed victoriously at Cup qualifying at Iowa Speedway. But Ryan Blaney was to be a thorn in his side with the second-fastest spot—136.311 mph. And Blaney did not stop at the final race either.

The two drivers constantly exchanged blows from the beginning. As soon as the green flag was waved, Blaney roared past Kyle Larson. Then the Hendrick driver retook the lead, only to lose it again to his Penske rival at lap 62. The former maintained that streak and ended up securing his second stage win of the season. This second-stage win did not come easy for Larson, as he had to push and clear a lot. However, Ryan Blaney had the final laugh as he secured his first win of the season.

Ryan Blaney wins Stage 1 at Iowa Speedway!

— Austin Konenski (@AustinKonenski) June 16, 2024

As Ryan Blaney picked up the playoff point, his stage win proved his short-track talent. He averages 47.13 DraftKings points in the Next Gen car on short tracks, eighth-best among full-time drivers. Blaney’s 2015 Iowa win was dominant; he led a staggering 252 out of a total of 260 laps at the Xfinity race. Hence, Ryan Blaney knows how to play at Iowa better than Kyle Larson.

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The Team Penske driver even scripted history by leading a career-high 201 of 350 laps. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson faded after Daniel Suarez wrecked him on lap 261. Blaney’s dominance over Larson may shine through in one of motorsports’ historic events as well, as per the Penske driver’s wishes last year.

Blaney wanted to attempt the DoubleWe all know how the 2024 Double attempt went for Kyle Larson. After 16 months of rigorous preparation with the help of Hendrick Motorsports, Arrow-McLaren, and Indy 500 experts, Kyle Larson faced nothing but heartbreak. The weather played spoilsport, and he could not even run the Coca-Cola 600. His Iowa rival, Ryan Blaney, has also expressed a wish to run the historic Double. Considering their neck-to-neck battle at Iowa, Blaney might outshine Larson if he ever were to attempt it.

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Right after snatching the Cup Championship trophy last year, Blaney uttered his wish. “Honestly, it’s something I’ve bounced around in my mind for a couple years, something I feel like if you could do the double, that’s cool.” He added, “At my age, it’d be kind of perfect to do it, but I just think the nostalgia of it, being able to say you ran hopefully 1,100 miles in one day on the race track is a cool feat, and cool for Kyle to be able to do it. And maybe one day, I’ll get the privilege, too.”

Who knows, maybe Ryan Blaney will shock us all with a successful Double attempt soon. For now, the Team Penske driver is basking in the glory of his 11th Cup victory.

Source : EssentiallySports

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