Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are headed to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend and hoping for a restrictor-plate pick-me-up after a couple of disappointing weeks on the short tracks at Bristol and Richmond.
Mechanical issues at Bristol and a crash at Richmond left Blaney and the team with finishes of 33rd and 36th respectively and caused them to drop from sixth to 12th in the Cup standings.
But a run like Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had at Talladega’s sister track, Daytona International Speedway, in February could go a long ways in reversing the team’s recent misfortunes.
In the season-opening Daytona 500, Blaney finished a career-best second.
And he’s proven to be a good racer at Talladega as well, finishing fourth there in his Dega debut in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion and ninth and 11th in his two most recent races there.
For crew chief Jeremy Bullins, a return to Talladega is just what his team needs at this point.
“The last two weeks have seen what were shaping up to be top-10 runs end in disaster for us,” he said. “If I could pick two tracks to go to over the next two weeks I couldn't be happier to go to Talladega and Kansas.
“I feel like Talladega is the perfect place for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion to get back up front where we belong.”
Bullins pointed out that the team has had fast cars on short- and intermediate-length tracks and also on the superspeedways.
“Daytona was another example of the effort we put in our speedway cars and what a great job Ryan does at restrictor-plate tracks,” he said. “The weekend can't get here fast enough for us so we can put the last two weeks behind us and get back in the rhythm we had going.”
Talladega also has proven to be a good track for the team-owning Wood Brothers. In 88 races there, they have five wins, five poles, 18 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes.
Qualifying for the GEICO 500 is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. Central Time (4 p.m. Eastern), and the race is scheduled to start just after 1 p.m. (2 p.m Eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.