18 year old rookie Ryan Blaney finished sixth in the No. 19 Cooper Standard RAM during his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway's UNOH 200 in front of 350 Cooper Standard employees.
Blaney had a solid start by qualifying in the fifth position directly behind teammate and owner Brad Keselowski. Blaney started conservatively by saving his equipment during the first long green flag run of the night.
On lap 81, the caution flag flew for the first time, and crew chief Doug Randolph called the Cooper Standard RAM into the pit for four tires, fuel, and a major wedge adjustment. Another caution quickly came on lap 87 with Blaney restarting in 11th.
Caution flags became the story of the second half of the 200 lap race when the first of a string of yellows fell on lap 146. The Cooper Standard RAM team took advantage of the latest caution with four fresh tires, but gave up track position in the process as they fell back to 16th place. Two more cautions fell at laps 155 and 160, and Blaney steered his way back to 13th place with the fresh rubber. The Cooper Standard team continued to climb through the field as a yellow flag was displayed yet again for on track incidents on laps 169 and 186.
A final caution on lap 194 set Blaney up for a top 10 run during a green-white-checkered restart. The No. 19 Cooper Standard RAM finished in sixth place marking a very successful night for both Blaney and Cooper Standard.
"Tonight was a good run in our Cooper Standard RAM," said Blaney. "We just needed track position, and some breaks to go our way. Overall, it was a great start, and I'm excited to be involved with this team and series. I'm looking forward to getting back to work with BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) in Atlanta next weekend."
Blaney will once again be behind the wheel of the Cooper Standard RAM next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tune into the SPEED Channel on Friday, August 31, 2012 for Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200 beginning at 7:30 P.M. EDT.