Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team led the way for Ford Motor Company in Cup qualifying at Pocono Raceway, earning the fourth starting position for Sunday’s Pocono 400.
It was the sixth time in 14 races this season that Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team have qualified in the top five.
The No. 21 Fusion once again was fast off the truck as Blaney posted the seventh-fastest speed in the opening practice session with a best lap of 175.613 miles per hour.
Then in qualifying, he was 10th fastest in the first round with a speed of 176. 391 mph and third fastest in Round Two with a lap at 178.295 mph.
Then in the third and final round he ran a lap at 177.897 mph to earn the fourth starting position and post the best time of the five Ford drivers who made the final round.
Blaney told reporters afterward that he probably lost a little speed in the Tunnel Turn on his final run but not much.
“I don’t know that we could have run a pole speed, but I thought we made good changes each round and we got better and better,” he said. “I know the last round was a little bit slower, but that was me just missing the tunnel a little bit.
“That’s such a hard turn to do, especially in [qualifying trim] because you’re going so fast, but, overall, good speed by our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford.”
Blaney said he’s pleased with the weekend so far and is optimistic about his chances in Sunday’s 400-mile race.
“I think in race trim we were fairly decent,” he said. “We can see the front from there, and we’ve only got a few spots to go, so we’ll see how Sunday goes.”
The Pocono 400 is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FS1.