NASCAR & Auto Racing

Blaney finishes 3rd, tying his best in Cup

Dave Blaney finished third, tying his best Cup finish.

He also was third at Darlington in 2003.

The finished moved his No. 22 team into 35th in the car owner standings, which means Blaney is guaranteed a spot in next week’s race at Charlotte.

The No. 21 Ford team fell out of the top 35.

Blaney said he would have followed Tony Stewart to the outside on the final lap to take a shot at winning, but didn’t want to pull out from behind Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to do it.

“It was hard to bail out on that lane,” Blaney said. “I know Tony wishes I would have gone with him, but I had to watch out for myself.”