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Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon out early after Stage 2 crash at Bristol

Early leader Ryan Blaney exited Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race early after a Lap 198 crash with Ty Dillon damaged his No. 12 Team Penske Ford at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Blaney started fourth in the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 (FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and led twice for 60 laps in the early going. But the 26-year-old driver lost control while running second and his No. 12 Ford sustained heavy front-end damage in a collision with Ty Dillon’s No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet.

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“Take it to the truck. We knocked the radiator out of it,” the No. 12 crew told Blaney, who nursed the rumpled car back to the garage area. Both Blaney and Dillon were sidelined.

Blaney was the race’s first retiree and will be scored last in the 40-car field. Dillon managed to complete two additional laps before ending his day in 39th place.

“I was way high and that’s obviously not where I wanted to be, but I didn’t think I was that high getting in there. It might have just been trying to get too much and got in the marbles and spun out,” Blaney said of his initial trouble. “I thought we were gonna be OK and then we got destroyed about six seconds later, so that’s just Bristol and a part of Bristol. I probably shouldn’t have been pushing that hard, but trying to get back to the lead. I thought we found some speed up there, just a mistake on my part.

“After having two strong weeks, you go and you wreck not even halfway, so that’s just a bummer. We’ll go to Atlanta and see what we can do.”

Both drivers had a brief discussion after being checked and released from the infield care center.

“Just how he was trying to get slowed up, ” Blaney said that Dillon explained. “It’s just one of them things at Bristol. Things happen fast and just couldn’t get slowed up enough and turn and miss me. I think we’re both out of it, but I shouldn’t have been sitting there sideways on the track anyway. That stinks, but I thought we were gonna be OK and just can’t seem to avoid things here. It’s hard to do, but I hate it for everybody on our crew. We had a good car and I just kind of overstepped it and cost us.”