The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion finished 33rd in the rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway when driver Ryan Blaney’s power steering failed 74 laps into the 500-lap race.
Blaney started sixth on the grid since qualifying was rained out on Friday and the lineup was determined by owner’s points. He quickly raced his way into the top five and was scored in third place on lap 72. Shortly thereafter the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21’s power steering gave out.
At the end of Stage 1, the team tried to make a quick fix that didn’t work and forced the team behind the wall to change the power steering pump and its electronic controls. When they re-emerged onto the world’s fastest half mile, Blaney was in 38th place, 47 laps behind the leader.
“We had to come in and fix it, which stinks because when we went back out we were actually really fast, but you’re not racing for anything, which is unfortunate,” Blaney said after the race.
Blaney made up five positions in the second half of the race to finish 33rd.
The driver remained optimistic about returning to Bristol in the fall based on what he learned about his car before and after the repair.
“It’s something to look forward to in the fall race because I felt like that was one of the best cars I’ve had at Bristol,” he continued. “It stinks that it happened. I know it happened to us and the 2, the same problem, so we’ll have to figure out what happened and what was different on the 22 to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The finish moves Blaney from sixth to 10th in the driver standings, 132 points behind leader Kyle Larson.
The next stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit is the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. ET.
Ford Performance PR