After battling an ill-handling race car early in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Ryan Blaney brought the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion home in 14th place this afternoon.
At the start of the race, Blaney told his crew that he had virtually no rear grip yet he managed to stay in the top 20 after starting 17th on the grid. A couple of early race caution periods allowed the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team to work on their machine and get it good enough to allow their rookie driver to push forward to 10th place at the half-way point of the race.
An aggressive pit strategy, staying on the track during consecutive caution periods late in the race, put the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 Ford in fifth place with about 100 miles to go in the 400-mile race. The lack of fresh rubber, however, cost the team several positions and they slipped back to their final finishing position.
“It turned out to be a bit of a disappointing day,” said crew chief Jeremy Bullins. “I guess when you can be disappointed with a top 15 it’s not the end of the world but we expect more from ourselves.
“We tried some things,” Bullins explained. “Some things didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped but we will learn and move forward.”
The 14th at Kansas was Blaney’s 15th top-15 finish and his 20th top-20 finish of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
As a result, the rookie driver maintains his hold on 20th place in the driver points standings.
Ford Performance PR