Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22), driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150, scored a fourth-place finish in Friday night's Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, his 12th top five of the season. Blaney finished the season 21 points behind the leader in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings but his night in south Florida was anything but uneventful.
Blaney started second but wrestled an inconsistent truck during the first half of the 134-lap, 200-mile race. He was running fifth when the fourth caution of the race came out on lap 71, setting up a round of caution flag pit stops one lap later. Blaney pitted for four tires and adjustments but was slow leaving his pit stall - the victim of a broken shifter. He restarted 14th when the race went green on lap 75.
Ryan had climbed up to 10th place by lap 79 and was eighth when the fifth caution slowed the race on lap 100. Ryan pitted on lap 101 for four tires and adjustments plus a pair of vice grips for their driver to attach to the shifter handle, which Blaney did under caution. He lined up fourth when the race went green on lap 104.
The sixth caution of the race slowed the field on lap 106. Blaney restarted fourth on lap 109 and two laps later teammate Tyler Reddick spun off Turn 2, bringing out the seventh and final caution. Ryan restarted third for the final 20 lap sprint to the finish. He aggressively battled for positions inside the top five, even briefly going three-wide for the lead on lap 119. As the laps ticked away so did his truck's improved handling characteristics but he held on for fifth place when the checkered flag waved.