Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22), driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150, made his debut at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Friday night during the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 after qualifying 15th earlier in the day.
Blaney came on the radio chattering positively on how good his Cooper Standard Ford was after the first caution came out on lap 14 due to a spin. Crew chief, Doug Randolph brought Blaney to pit road for fuel only -- getting Blaney off quickly and restarting him in the eighth position on lap 18.
Blaney was able to maintain pace inside the top 10 for the rest of the night. He gradually moved inside of the top five on lap 27 after making a bold move to the inside of the No. 62.
On lap 48 the caution fell for the second time of the night and Randolph brought the No. 29 BKR driver in for fuel, four tires a slight track bar adjustment -- getting him off pit road in a timely fashion for the restart on lap 52.
Blaney continued his momentous surge into the top three by lap 55 and took the lead away from the No. 51 by lap 60.
On lap 84, Blaney, who was running in second at the time, only saw the rear bumper of his Truck owner and teammate, Brad Keselowski, as BKR was running first and second.
The No. 17 brought out the fifth and final caution on lap 101 for a wreck in the frontstretch. This triggered Randolph to bring Blaney to pit road for one last stop as the strategy was to go the remaining distance without pitting again. The Cooper Standard team buckled down and executed a phenomenal pit stop, changing four tires, fuel and one down on the track bar.
The last 40 plus laps wound down ever so quickly as Blaney made a late charge, but came up just a bit short, bringing home a impressive third place finish on the night and capped off a solid run for Brad Keselowski Racing who placed in the second and third positions respectfully.
"I am very proud of these BKR guys, my Cooper Standard Ford was super fast, but just didn't have enough for the leaders during the final run. We continue to bring awesome stuff to the track and it will pay off soon for these guys who work so hard to get me up front each race. I can't wait to get to Vegas and give it another shot on that mile and a half in a couple of weeks." - Ryan Blaney