Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head to Phoenix Raceway with the momentum that comes with having fast cars for the first three races of the 2017 season.
And Phoenix was one of Blaney’s better tracks during his rookie season as he posted finishes of eighth and 10th in his two starts there.
Crew chief Jeremy Bullins said the team is showing improvement in its sophomore season as evidenced by one top-five and two top-10 finishes in three races along with 37 laps in which the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion posted the fastest lap of any car.
“We definitely kept up our strong start to 2017 in Vegas, coming away with a solid top 10,” Bullins said. “We feel like we probably had a top-five car, but it shows the growth of our team to overcome a loose wheel and be in the top five on the last restart of the race.
“We got blocked a little on that restart and it killed our momentum or we feel like it could have been our second top-five in three races.
“That’s got everyone in a good mood as we head back out west to Phoenix this weekend.”
Bullins said based on Blaney’s performance at Phoenix last year, he expects good results again this weekend.
“I felt like Ryan really figured that track out quickly,” he said. “We qualified well in the fall and look forward to competing for the pole as well.”
Blaney tied his best qualifying performance of his career last weekend at Las Vegas with a third-place effort after posting the fastest overall lap during the second of three qualifying rounds.
This weekend, he has more data to work with than he did at Las Vegas or at Phoenix last year.
“We had the opportunity to test at Phoenix before the season started and feel even more prepared than we did last year,” Bullins said. “All in all, it’s shaping up to be a good week for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.”
Qualifying for the Camping World 500k is set for 4:45 p.m. (7:45 Eastern Time on Friday, and the 312-lap race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.