With only 39 entries for the 40 available starting spots for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team was assured a starting spot for the team’s 103rd start at the Atlanta track.
Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team took an aggressive approach to Friday’s qualifying session, with Blaney turning in a steering-wheel-sawing performance in the closing seconds to bump fellow rookie Chase Elliott from the top-24 and an advance to the second round.
It took a lap at 189.766 miles per hour for Blaney to post the 23rd-best time in his second attempt in the first round, but he paid a big price for that extra time on his tires as he dropped to 24th in the second round with a lap at 187.449 mph. That puts him 23rd in the line-up for Sunday after apparent pole-sitter Kyle Busch had his time disallowed due to a rules infraction.
Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, said he liked the way Blaney drove in qualifying despite having a loose-handling car.
“That said a lot about Ryan’s determination,” Wood said. “The way it all played out, we were locked into a starting spot, but still he was running on the edge.”
“That makes me happy.”
Wood went on to say that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is encouraged by its runs in race trim on Friday, and there’s still another session on Saturday to finish fine-tuning the No. 21 Ford Fusion.
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is set to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.
Wood Brothers Racing PR