Ford Motor Company’s NASCAR teams head into this weekend’s races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on a roll, having won the first two Cup races of the season and scoring eight other top-10 finishes.
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are among those headed West with momentum after having fast Ford Fusions in the first two races of the season.
Blaney finished second at Daytona and was poised for another strong run at Atlanta Motor Speedway before early tire troubles left him mired deep in the field for much of the race.
Still, the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is focusing on the positives of the first two races of 2017.
“I guess on paper it looks like Atlanta didn’t go very good for us, but in reality our car had a lot of speed and we fought hard to overcome a lot of adversity as a group,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins said. “I was really proud of our team and how everyone responded and kept their head in the game and kept fighting.”
Even with an 18th-place finish at Atlanta, Blaney is eighth in the championship standings heading to Las Vegas, where Bullins expects the good performance to continue.
“We’ve had two fast Motorcraft/ Quick Lane Ford Fusions to start the season, and I’m confident the car we are taking to Vegas is just as good,” he said, adding that the team’s chassis set-ups seem to work well on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas. “Las Vegas fits Ryan’s liking – we tend to gravitate toward the fast, intermediate tracks – and that showed last year finishing sixth.”
“It should be a good week to keep the momentum going that we’ve started the season with, and we can’t wait to get the West Coast swing of the schedule started.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said this weekend’s race will be another test of the new aerodynamics package, with its short rear spoiler and other tweaks that are intended to put a driver’s skills to the test.
“I’m looking forward to another opportunity to see where we are with our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion,” he said. “The new package seems to suit Ryan’s style.”
“I think we’ll be OK.”
Qualifying for Sunday’s 400-mile run is set for Friday at 4:45 p.m. (7:45 eastern), and the race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.