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Blaney beats Newman in photo finish at Talladega to advance in playoffs

Blaney beats Newman in photo finish at Talladega to advance in playoffs
Autos
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Ryan Blaney emerged safely from the wreckage at Talladega Superspeedway that claimed other playoff contenders, winning by a tiny margin that was huge for his championship hopes.

Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a door-to-door race to the finish line to win Monday and advance to the third round of NASCAR s playoffs.

Blaney s first win of the season came as he was in danger of getting eliminated from title contention. The playoff field will be trimmed from 12 drivers to eight next weekend at Kansas. Blaney had little margin for error after he had mechanical issues at Dover last weekend and finished 35th.

"Our mindset really was we had to win one of these two races," Blaney said. "We were so far back in points. I know Talladega s a wild card. There was a lot of wrecks today and a lot of guys got tore up. But we didn t really get any stage points and we were already pretty far behind the eight-ball.
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