Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) made his first start of the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Lucas Oil 200 Friday afternoon at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The young driver quickly proved he needed little time to get re-acclimated to the series.
The driver of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 won the Keystone Light Pole Award during qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 with a lap of 22.718 seconds, a new track record at Dover, eclipsing the previous mark held by Kevin Harvick from 2012. Ryan racked up his fifth pole in 54 NCWTS starts - all with Brad Keselowski Racing - and won his first pole in three starts at Dover.
Despite his strong performance in qualifying and seventh place finish in the race, both driver and team were left wanting a little bit more.
Ryan led from the start of the race until his first scheduled pit stop during the third caution on lap 35. The team changed four tires and made adjustments and he lined up 12th for the restart on lap 39, thanks in large part to different pit strategies employed by several of his competitors and a difficult time on pit road.
An excellent restart on lap 80 moved Blaney up to 10th and one lap later he picked off two more positions to move into eighth position. He steadily worked his way through traffic and was up to fifth by lap 96 despite a very loose handling truck.
When the sixth caution slowed the race on lap 106, Blaney and crew chief Chad Kendrick chose to pit for adjustments only on lap 107. He restarted 11th when the race went green on lap 110. Once again Blaney went to work, climbing up to seventh by lap 114 and to sixth by lap 136.
The eighth and final caution on lap 137 set up the final round of pit stops. Blaney received four tires and more adjustments on lap 138 and restarted seventh on lap 142. Although he briefly moved up to sixth during the final run to the finish, a loose handling truck would force Ryan to settle for a seventh place finish.