An early race brush with the wall and the resulting flat tire put Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team down a lap early, pushing the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 back to a 26th-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Blaney, who started eighth, was battling a loose race car from the drop of the green flag and drifted out of the top 10 after 13 laps and was out of the top 15 after 20 laps before hitting the wall.
"I hit the fence early and ruined our day pretty much," Blaney said after climbing out of his scarred No. 21 Ford. “We didn't even get a chance to (work on the car).”
Once the Wood Brothers’ pit crew got their rookie driver back on the track, he was well back in the pack and found the going tough as he tried to work his was back.
"Once you hit the fence in these corners it ruins your whole race car,” Blaney explained. “I should have been smarter than that but I wasn't."
Still, Blaney was able to navigate through another brush with the wall and avoid the late-race wrecks to finish 26th.
Blaney completes his rookie season 20th in the driver points standings andin rookie points.
Overall in 2016, Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team scored three top-five finishes, nine top-10s, 18 top-15s and 24 top-20 results.
The next race on the NASCAR schedule is the Daytona 500, Sunday Feb. 26, 2017.
Ford Performance PR