Race Weekend Central

Rookies Elliott, Blaney Crash in Kentucky

The Rookie of the Year battle, one of the hottest topics of the year, clashed Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, as Ryan Blaney slid up into Chase Elliott, leading to both cars crashing in Turn 3.

Each taking their cars to the garage on lap 87, Elliott says the slick racing surface made it very easy to lose control.

“I was the guy on the outside lane and I tied to get up as far as I could without getting into the gray. I know every time somebody has gotten into the gray, it’s been bad news. I guess Ryan got loose in the middle. That’s an easy thing to do, it’s slick.”

Racing on a one-groove reconfiguration of Kentucky, Elliott says it’s a “fine line” between racing side by side and sliding into the wall.

“Its such a fine line,” he said. “There is not much room for error. The groove is so narrow that if you make a mistake, you have to stop in your tracks.”

Simply getting loose in the middle of the pack following a restart, Blaney criticized the lack of racing grooves, saying it was hard to be around other cars.

“Got loose,” he said. “When you have a car at your bumper, a car inside, a car outside, it’s pretty possible to do. I hate to see two fast racecars torn up.

“It’s tough to race people. We saw this at Michigan a little bit, but at least Michigan is wide enough to do something. This being a new racetrack, it’s so hard to run side by side with people.”

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