Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team scored their second top-10 finish of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with a seventh-place result in the Kobalt 400 this afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting third on the grid after nearly nabbing the pole on Friday, Blaney was in the top-10 all day despite an unscheduled green-flag pit stop early in the race to tighten the left rear wheel.
“We had to come back and get some lug nuts on a loose wheel so that put us back in the pack and we had to recover from that,” Blaney said after climbing out of his red-and-white No. 21. “(The pit crew) did a good job and the car was good enough to drive up through there (back to into the top 10).”
Blaney finished Stage 1 of the race in third place, picking up eight points. He finished Stage 2 in sixth and picked up an additional five points. The stage points, along with the seventh-place points haul moves the Wood Brothers’ wheelman into sixth place in the driver points standings, 26 points behind fellow Ford pilot Brad Keselowski.
Disaster almost struck Blaney and company on the last re-start of the race when he was starting fifth behind Chase Elliott and the two came close to taking each other out of the contest.
"He just threw a big block and I could have turned him or lifted,” Blaney explained. “I was nice and didn't turn him.”
Blaney and the Wood Brothers were fast all weekend, in the top 10 in every practice session and even posting the fastest qualifying lap on Friday, albeit in round two.
"Not a bad weekend,” Blaney said. "I thought we were a little bit better than (seventh place). I thought the best we could have done was fourth or fifth. We just didn't have the speed of the top three. Overall it was a good day.
“We had a good car and a good effort to get back in the front pack,” he said. “I can't thank the Wood Brothers guys enough.”
NASCAR’s West Coast Swing continues next weekend, March 19, with the Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Ford Performance PR