Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had another fast Ford Fusion for Monday’s rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
After running in the top six for most of the race’s first 60 laps, Blaney reported to the team that he felt a problem with the car’s power-steering system.
The problems worsened, and Blaney began losing laps to the leaders. Soon, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called Blaney to the garage, where the team changed the power steering system and sent him back onto the track.
The Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion was fast again, with Blaney posting impressive lap times for the remainder of the race. The problem was he was 48 laps down and wound up with a disappointing 33rd-place finish, which dropped him from sixth to 10th in the championship standings.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said there was little Blaney or the crew could do once the mechanical issue arose.
“It’s not like the old days, when you could cut the power steering belt and the car drove like it had manual steering. It's almost impossible to drive one of these cars now without power steering.” Wood said, adding that it’s hard to be too disappointed when the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion was as quick as it was at Bristol.
“The car was fast, like it has been every week,” he said. “We’ll go on to Richmond, and sooner or later our luck will even out and everything will be OK.”
Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will return to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for Sunday’s 400-lap race on the three-quarter mile oval.