Blaney To Start 23rd At Atlanta

With only 39 entries for the 40 available starting spots for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team was assured a starting spot for the team’s 103rd start at the Atlanta track.

Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team took an aggressive approach to Friday’s qualifying session, with Blaney turning in a steering-wheel-sawing performance in the closing seconds to bump fellow rookie Chase Elliott from the top-24 and an advance to the second round.

It took a lap at 189.766 miles per hour for Blaney to post the 23rd-best time in his second attempt in the first round, but he paid a big price for that extra time on his tires as he dropped to 24th in the second round with a lap at 187.449 mph. That puts him 23rd in the line-up for Sunday after apparent pole-sitter Kyle Busch had his time disallowed due to a rules infraction.

Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, said he liked the way Blaney drove in qualifying despite having a loose-handling car.

“That said a lot about Ryan’s determination,” Wood said. “The way it all played out, we were locked into a starting spot, but still he was running on the edge.”

“That makes me happy.”

Wood went on to say that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is encouraged by its runs in race trim on Friday, and there’s still another session on Saturday to finish fine-tuning the No. 21 Ford Fusion.
 
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is set to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Wood Brothers Racing PR
Speedway Digest Staff

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