After running solidly in the top five and top 10 for much of the Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway this afternoon, Ryan Blaney brought the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to the checkered flag in 11th place after getting shuffled backward on the race’s final re-start.
Starting 15th on the grid, Blaney moved into the top 10 by lap 32. By lap 47, the Wood Brothers’ rookie driver was fifth. Three laps later, he was in second place, right behind Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski.
He led lap 111 and assumed the lead again when Keselowski’s engine let go on lap 143.
"It's too bad Brad didn't get to finish,” Blaney said. “We tried to give him as much help as we could there when he was leading."
Blaney stayed with the lead pack until there were about 20 laps to go when he got caught up in slower-moving lanes on re-starts including the last one when he went from ninth to 11th.
"We had a strong Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion all day,” Blaney said. “I could have made better decisions in lane selection there toward the end but you never know how that's going to work out."
With Blaney’s 16th top-15 finish of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, he moves down a spot to 21st in the driver points standings.
The next race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m ET. The Wood Brothers’ No. 21 will be in its Virginia Tech Athletics livery for the Martinsville race.
Ford Performance PR