Fresh from an Easter weekend off, Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford team head to Bristol Motor Speedway where they hope to continue the pace they’ve set in first seven races of the 2017 season. To date, Blaney and the No. 21 Ford Fusion have a runner-up finish in the Daytona 500 and two more top-10 finishes, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. They have two front-row starts, at Phoenix Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway, two stage wins and 150 laps led. They’ve never been out of the top 10 in the Cup standings and head to Bristol in sixth position.
“After a weekend off, there’s no better place to get back to racing than Bristol,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins said. “You always know you’re in for an exciting weekend, and we are certainly ready to go with the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford.
“I feel like Bristol is another track on the schedule where we have enough experience as a team to be a real contender this weekend. It’s a place Ryan and I won at with the Xfinity program, and I feel like we’ve gotten stronger each time we go.”
Blaney finished 11th in the Food City 500 last spring, and qualified fourth for last year’s night race in August and raced as high as second place before being collected in a multi-car crash.
And Bullins said that while the intermediate-length, mile-and-a-half tracks and the superspeedways are where the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team has enjoyed its most success, he believes the team’s short-track program is coming right along. He pointed out that Blaney qualified seventh in his most recent race on the half mile at Martinsville and was fast in the early portions of the race, earning 10 championship points by being among the top 10 after each of that race’s first two stages.
“I think the speed we had at Martinsville shows the effort that goes into the short-track cars, and even though the tracks couldn’t be more different I feel like our car will be just as fast at Bristol,” he said. “I know everyone is rested up and ready to get back to racing this weekend.”
Qualifying for the Food City 500 is set for Friday at 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.