If there’s anywhere experience is beneficial on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit, it’s the road courses of Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, the latter being the next test for Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team.
So far in 2017, Blaney maximized his rookie year Sonoma experience and improved from 23rd to ninth at the challenging northern California road course. A year ago at Watkins Glen, he rebounded from an early race penalty to finish 19th. The Wood Brothers’ driver is looking for similar year-over-year improvement at The Glen.
Blaney currently is ninth on the list of drivers qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs and any stage or race wins for the next five weeks would solidify his position as a championship contender when the post-season begins Sept. 17 at Chicagoland Speedway.
On Watkins Glen International:
“I honestly enjoyed Watkins Glen a little bit more than Sonoma last year. I think I did a little bit better at Watkins Glen and it was really fun. It kind of suits a rookie driving style – always on the gas pedal and Watkins Glen has enough grip so you can do that. Hopefully I can calm down a bit and run a little bit better this year.”
On How Experience Helps on a Road Course:
“There are things there that you try to pick up during the race watching some great road racers. I raced near A.J. (Allmendinger) last year and he’s been fantastic there over the last handful of years.”
On Preparation for This Year’s Run at Watkins Glen:
“You try to maximize your braking and be precise. I don’t think I did great (last year). I was just trying to go as fast as I could without a lot of precision. That’s something I have to work on. The Ford simulator has been a lot of help and we’ll go there a couple of times.”
Ford Performance PR