Austin Cindric Wins at WWT as Teammate Ryan Blaney Runs Out of Gas Coming to the White Flag

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Cindric Wins at WWT, Blaney Runs Out of GasLogan Riely - Getty Images

With around 20 laps remaining, Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell cycled to the lead, and viewers believed they were in for the victory battle at WTT Raceway. Neither Bell nor Blaney would win the race. Instead, unknown issues caused Bell's engine to blow with 18 laps remaining, and Blaney ran out of gas coming to the white flag. Blaney's Penske teammate Austin Cindric inherited the lead to claim his second victory in the Cup Series.

Blaney was chasing his first win of the season, Bell his third, and Cindric his first since the 2022 Daytona 500.

"I'm heartbroken for the 12 team," Cindric told Fox Sports' Jamie Little. "I don't know what happened to them at the end of the race, but they deserved to win this race. Ryan has been a hell of a leader on this team."


Cindric and Blaney pitted with only one lap between them, Blaney with 64 laps remaining and Cindric with 63. Over the broadcast, it was reported that the fuel window was around 70 laps, meaning a mistake was made in Blaney's last pit stop, and his fuel tank was not full. Not knowing he had to save fuel, the driver of the No. 12 pushed full force to the unfortunate end of his race.

Blaney would finish 24th, the last driver on the lead lap, after coasting to the finish line. This heartbreak came after crashes in the last two points-paying races, finishing last at Darlington Raceway and second-to-last in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600.

"I don't know what I need to do to get some luck on our side," Blaney said to Fox postrace.

Blaney was 12th in points leading into the race without a win to punch his ticket into the playoffs. On the flipside, Cindric was 20th in points and is now locked into the Cup Series Playoffs for the second time. Cindric won his first NASCAR Cup Series race as a full-time driver to lock into the playoffs back in 2022.

Seventeen laps earlier, Blaney seemed to have a reprieve when Bell, who led the most laps of the race and was fiercely battling for the lead, fell back, radioing in, "I'm blowing up. I'm blowing up. Race is over."

Bell would continue to limp around the raceway under power with an engine problem, falling to fourth until his teammate Martin Truex Jr., three laps down, came to the rescue. With nothing to lose, Truex positioned himself behind Bell, drafting behind and improving his speed by seven-tenths on a lap. Bell would still fall positions but scrape away a top-10 finish with seventh.

"That was awesome; he probably saved us a top 10 out of the day. Martin is a stand-up guy," Bell told Fox Sports.

Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, and Joey Logano.

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