Ryan Blaney and Wood Brothers Racing battled back from early race tire and vibration issues to pedal the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to an 18th-place finish in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Starting 14th on the grid, Blaney advanced up the field to seventh place by lap 40 before tire problems and unidentified vibrations forced two unscheduled pit stops that put the No. 21 way down the leader board two laps behind the leader.
“The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion had great speed today and we quickly worked into the top 10,” said crew chief Jeremy Bullins. “Unfortunately we had to pit with some tire-related issues that got us behind but we battled back to get all we could out of it.”
A fast race car, good pit stops and a couple of timely caution period wave arounds allowed Blaney to drive his way back into the top 20 by lap 269. He picked up one of the two lost laps on lap 288 and moved into 18th place during a caution period during the 311th tour of the Georgia track. He took another wave-around during a lap-311 caution to get back on the lead lap.
“We can’t wait to get to Vegas next week as we feel good about the speed in our cars after today,” Bullins added.
With the 18th-place finish, Blaney drops from second to eighth in driver points standings, 27 points behind the leader.
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next week, March 12, for the Kobalt 400.
Ford Performance PR