Ryan Blaney's appearance behind the wheel of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Careers For Veterans Ford F-150 Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway might have been unexpected but his third place finish in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 was right on target.
Blaney (@Blaney) was tapped to drive the No. 29 Cooper Standard Careers For Veterans Ford F-150 just days before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas. Ryan responded by delivering his best finish in five series races at Texas. He also claimed his fourth finish of third or better in five starts in the No. 29 this season for a white hot average finish of 3.20.
Blaney started 15th and roared inside the top 10 by lap 3. Ryan continued to slice his way through traffic and by lap 13 was up to fifth place but his truck began to get loose shortly after he climbed inside the top five. He was up to fourth place by lap 30 and picked off third position on lap 39 just before scheduled green flag pit stops began.
Ryan stopped for four tires and adjustments on lap 46 and had cycled back up back to fifth position when the pit stop sequence was complete on lap 50. He was fourth when the first and only caution slowed the pace on lap 54.
Ryan restarted fourth when the race went green on lap 59. He briefly moved up to third position on lap 60 then settled back into fourth on lap 66 where he stayed for the majority of the run. As the race neared the 100 lap mark and another round of pit stops, Blaney stopped under green on lap 95 for four tires and fuel. Fast pit work from the Cooper Standard team put Ryan in second place when the cycle of stops were complete.
He held on to second until he slipped back to third place on lap 110 - just 37 laps from the finish. Blaney and team needed one more yellow and a short run to the checkered flag to enhance their chances to run with the leaders. The long green flag run at the end of the race was too much to overcome to have a chance to contend for the victory and Blaney was forced to settle for third place at the checkered flag.