With new sponsor BorgWarner on board, Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Wood Brothers team turned in one of their best qualifying efforts of the season.
Blaney, who was fifth fastest in Friday’s opening practice session, made it through all three rounds of knock-out qualifying and wound up with the eighth starting position for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It was his 10th top-12 qualifying effort this season and his first top-12 since a seventh-place start at Michigan International Speedway in August. He went on to finish fourth in that race, the Pure Michigan 400.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said the latest strong qualifying effort came at a good time.
“Texas is a really fast place, and this is a prestigious race,” he said. “With a new sponsor, BorgWarner, on board, it’s good to make it through all three qualifying rounds. We want to make the most of this opportunity.”
“BorgWarner has a lot of guests coming to the race on Sunday, and we’re all looking forward to that.”
Blaney, who was 13th in the first round of qualifying and ninth fastest in the second, said he was pleased to improve his position each time on the track.
“We got better every run, which is good,” he said. “That is really all you can ask for. We thought we were going to be a lot looser than we were, and we kind of fought tight the entire time.”
“We were really loose in practice and kept tightening it up and got to qualifying and were a little too snug.”
“It was a good effort for us, and we have a whole new day tomorrow to try to get our car good in race trim and see what we can do.”