After scoring points in the first two stages of the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, a stuck jack on pit road and a Stage 3 wreck pushed the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion back to a 25th-place finish.
Starting seventh due to a qualifying rainout and a grid based on owner’s points, driver Ryan Blaney was a mainstay in the top 10 during the first two stages of the race. He overcame a long lap-70 pit stop when a lug nut got stuck in an air gun to finish Stage 1 where he started, adding an extra four points.
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford did not pit between stages and moved up to third to start Stage 2. Blaney got passed on lap 149 and spent 73 laps in fourth before finishing the second segment in fifth, tallying another six points.
Things began to go awry in the final stage of the 70th anniversary race at the Wood Brothers’ home track. Pitting from the fifth spot after Stage 2, a jack got stuck under the car causing Blaney and company to lose 10 spots of track position. Almost 60 laps later, Blaney got caught in a multi-car wreck resulting in damage that required multiple trips to the pits to repair.
When the dust settled, Blaney was all the way back to 29th place, two laps behind the leader. He made up four places racing a heavily taped Fusion during the final 100 laps.
Despite the finish, helped by scoring 10 points in the first two stages of the race, Blaney stays in the top 10 – seventh – in the driver points standings.
The NASCAR circuit heads to the Lone Star State next weekend, April 9, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Ford Performance PR