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TC Daily Pit Stop: Ryan Blaney Locks Championship 4 Berth with Martinsville Win; Almirola Looking for Better Work-Life Balance; Creed-RCR Divorce Can't Come Soon Enough
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, October 30th, 2023
Throughout the Playoffs, Ryan Blaney hadn’t been labeled as one of the championship favorites, due to the struggles that Team Penske has found across the board throughout the season.
But, after Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the 29-year-old driver has gotten the attention of everybody, flipping that narrative upside down with his third victory of the season, and the 10th of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
Blaney led 145 laps, and made the final pass for the lead on Aric Almirola with 23 laps remaining in the race, after closing a margin that had exceeded six seconds during the race’s final run. Almirola, in his last Martinsville race with SHR, would finish second.
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick would be eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, leaving Larson, Bell, Byron, and Blaney to fight for the title.
Harsh words from Richard Childress, the quickly deteriorating relationship with Austin Hill, and the feeling of an existing double-standard within the organization have made it clear that the divorce between Sheldon Creed and Richard Childress Racing can’t happen soon enough.
TobyChristie.com’s Managing Editor, Joseph Srigley, weighs in on the matter, which seemingly hit a boiling point following Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
Since reversing his retirement decision last August, Aric Almirola has been on the minds of those following the NASCAR Cup Series beat – with questions of whether or not this season would be the Tampa, Florida native’s final.
After giving his decision on Monday, Almirola said he’s simply seeking a better work-life balance, and that his career in NASCAR isn’t necessarily finished, but rather scaled back. The 39-year-old driver said he’s still open to part-time opportunities in the NASCAR National Series ranks.
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