Denny Hamlin Breaks Down Ryan Blaney's 'Out of Gas' Predicament

“Ouchy wowie and never had any indication of it. No one on the team gave him any pause whatsoever and so they clearly thought they were good."

by Sead Dedovic
Denny Hamlin Breaks Down Ryan Blaney's 'Out of Gas' Predicament
© Meg Oliphant/Getty Images Sport

Ryan Blaney was on track for a good result in the last race, the Enjoy Illinois 300, to secure a win. However, he ran out of gas, ultimately making it easy for Austin Cindric to overtake him and clinch the victory. There have been numerous reactions to Blaney's "defeat." Losing in such a manner is disappointing, and his team can certainly question how they allowed such an outcome. 

Through his podcast "Actions Detrimental," Denny Hamlin reacts to race events, and this time, he reacted to Blaney's loss. Hamlin believes there is one explanation for what happened to Blaney, blaming his team. One possibility is that they put only one can of gas, which ultimately cost them the win. His team misjudged the situation, but there was also a chance they needed more fuel in the tank when they pitted.

“Ouchy wowie and never had any indication of it. No one on the team gave him any pause whatsoever and so they clearly thought they were good. They only put one can of gas in versus everyone else took two. Blaney was one of the first to pit so he was gonna have to stretch it long or as long as anyone. It was clearly some sort of miscalculation, or they didn’t have as much in the tank when they pitted as what they thought."- Denny Hamlin said, as quoted by On3.

Hamlin elaborated on the potential scenario, explaining that when the crew chief opted to add only one can of gas during the pit stop, they likely assumed there was already a sufficient amount of fuel in the tank. He described the typical procedure where the team weighs the can before and after refueling the car to measure how much fuel was added accurately. 

In this case, Hamlin suggested that the team might have mistakenly believed there was more fuel in the tank than there actually was when they pitted. This error, he speculated, likely occurred earlier in the race rather than specifically during the final pit stop. Despite the scrutiny on the final pit stop, Hamlin emphasized that Blaney's decision to pit earlier was likely influenced by the need to maintain track position against competitors like Cindric.

Ryan Blaney reacted

Ryan Blaney was visibly disappointed after such a situation. As the 30-year-old NASCAR Cup Series champion from 2023, he had expected much more from this race, anticipating a potential victory. Despite his impressive performance last season, Blaney has faced many instances this season where luck hasn't been on his side. However, he didn't want to be pessimistic, emphasizing that he never expected this outcome. 

Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney© Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images Sport

He expressed gratitude to his team for their best efforts. Ultimately, he highlighted the intriguing battle he experienced. The final moments were absolutely unexpected, not only for him but also for the fans of this sport.

“Never thought in my mind we were short, but it’s one of those things. I’m proud of the 12 boys. … I had my work cut out for me holding out Christopher [Bell]. That was a fun battle. I don’t know what happened to him."- Blaney said.

Blaney expressed frustration at falling just one lap short of a better result, stressingthe strong performance of the No. 2 team and extending congratulations to them. Despite the disappointment, he found positivity in their performance that day. However, he couldn't help but contemplate what it would take to turn their luck around. Having been involved in accidents in the last two points races, he had hoped for a different outcome in this race, only to be left disappointed by the result.

Austin Cindric: Honestly, I’m heartbroken for the 12 team

Austin Cindric, the winner of this race, emphasized that he feels sad for Blaney and his team. However, for him, the most important thing is that he achieved a significant victory in his career, using the momentum that has presented itself to him. Cindric is happy for his team, which has shown confidence in him. This is the momentum he wants to capitalize on and demonstrate in the upcoming races that he has the potential for great things.

 “Honestly, I’m heartbroken for the 12 team. 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. This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved. To have two cars in the fight and an eventual one-two there, like I said, I’m heartbroken for those guys, but this is huge for me."

Denny Hamlin Ryan Blaney