Blaney was running the famous No. 21 solidly in 14th place (he had run as high as seventh throughout NASCAR’s longest race) when the engine let go in a spectacular white cloud during lap 282, which caused him to hit the wall.
“It sputtered and started to go maybe a half lap before and then it really went up,” Blaney said standing outside his garage. “I didn’t expect it to really explode like that.”
Blaney and company were hoping to continue the progress made in the team’s fourth-place finish at Talladega earlier in the month.
“I hate it for these guys,” Blaney said of his Wood Brothers teammates. “They work so hard and they gave me a good piece and we were getting it better all night. I really would have liked to see where we ended up.”
Blaney qualified the Wood Brothers Ford Fusion in 16th position and was in 18th after 50 laps. He was back to 16th after 100 laps and 11th after 150 circuits. At the half-way point, Blaney was in 12th but slipped back to 14th at the 250-lap mark before the engine let go on lap 282.
“I thought the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was pretty good,” he continued. “(Crew Chief) Jeremy Bullins and everyone on the team did a great job of working on it all night getting us better, and it really took off on one restart and I thought we were going to be pretty good. We had great take-off speed all night, but we just struggled for grip late in runs. I thought we made a good change to help that for this run and unfortunately the motor let go on us. That’s just unfortunate.”
The next stop for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is the Quicken Loans 400 on June 14 at Michigan International Speedway.
“I’m excited for our next outing in this thing and we can always look at the positives and say we had a good run going,” Blaney said. “Everyone is working really well together on this team, so we just need to get running a little bit more and I think we’ll be OK.”
Ford Performance PR