Ryan Blaney's team discovering a crisp five-dollar bill during a chaotic pit stop at the 2019 Daytona 500 is certainly not a top-tier, history-defining moment of the "Great American Race." In fact, you probably aren't even familiar with the story in the first place. It's not like it was major headline-making news during the same race that saw a 21-car "Big One," a wild overtime finish, and Denny Hamlin's second Daytona 500 win in four years.
But, while chaotic competition and down-to-the-wire finishes are what keeps us coming back year after year, sometimes it's also fun to look at some of the more lighthearted stories surrounding the Daytona 500. This money-making pit stop from a couple years back definitely falls into that latter category, and it's not something we've ever seen happen during a race before or since.
— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) February 17, 2019
After getting caught up in the Big One and wrecking out, Blaney didn't have the finish that he was hoping for at Daytona. But, when the race was all said and done, the NASCAR driver and his team did ended up walking away just a little bit richer, thanks to a crazy pit stop that ended in a fairly intact $5 bill getting pulled out of the grille of Blaney's No. 12 Ford Mustang.
As you can hear in the below clip at around the 2:13 mark, the radio back-and-forth between the Team Penske driver and his crew chief, Jeremy Bullins, as they discuss the discovery of the crisp Lincoln is pretty damn hilarious.
Bullins: I don't know about you, but we're making money down here. There was a $5 bill stuck in the grille.
Blaney: Is it a full $5 bill, or is it beat up?
Bullins: Oh yeah, it's almost mint condition.
Blaney: Vending machine worthy. 10-4.
Random cash discoveries at pit road aside, Blaney's fate at Daytona International Speedway was less than ideal. He didn't finish the race, but technically placed 31st. Fortunately for Blaney, his 2019 season picked up. He would go on to make a solid run at the NASCAR playoffs, ultimately getting eliminated in the Round of 8.
Blaney has seen steady improvement in the last couple years, racking up one win and 10 top-five finishes in 2020, three wins and eight top-fives in 2021, and 12 top-fives in 2022. At only 29 years old, Blaney still should plenty more years of solid racing left in him.
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