Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have put a dreary Dover weekend behind them and are ready for a strong run in the Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was fast at the Dover International Speedway last Sunday before a blown tire ended the team’s forward march.
“Waiting through rain delays all weekend and having a really fast car before blowing a tire wasn't much fun,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins said. “At least this week's race is on Saturday night, so we don't have to wait as long for our next chance.”
“On the bright side we had speed again. We were about to crack the top 10 only a quarter of the way through the race before the tire failure.”
“We will put that behind us and take another fast car to the track this week.”
Blaney and Bullins had one of their best runs of the early portion of the season in the Sprint Showdown in May. In that non-points race for drivers not in the All-Star Race, Blaney and his fellow drivers took the green flag without a single lap of practice, due to rain beforehand.
He drove to the front and took the lead on a restart with one lap remaining in the opening segment. But series officials ruled that he jumped the restart, taking away a likely victory. Blaney pointed out that fellow front-row starter Chase Elliott spun his tires and that Trevor Bayne was pushing from behind, putting Blaney in a position where he was at the mercy of others.
Still, Bullins said the experience of that race will pay dividends this weekend.
“We had a great setup at the Showdown in May and will work off that for this weekend,” he said, adding that Charlotte is one of the tracks where he and Blaney have managed to get a fair amount of experience in their 47 career points-paying races in NASCAR’s elite Sprint Cup Series. “It's nice to be going back to places for the fourth or fifth time and have a good notebook to work from.”
There are other benefits to racing at a track that literally is just around the corner from the Wood Brothers’ race shop.
“It's great to be home, no flights, no hotel beds, and eating at home will be the norm this week,” Bullins said. “The fall temps are starting to arrive, and Saturday night the track should have a lot of grip and make for an exciting race.”
“The guys on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion have worked really hard all year to be fast, and this week will be no different.”
Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 is set for Thursday at 7:20 p.m., and the race should get the green flag just after 6:45 Saturday night, with TV coverage on NBC.