Blaney Survives 'Long Night' to Notch 9th Top-20 Finish of Season

Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team picked up their ninth top-20 finish of the year with a 20th-place result in the Coca-Cola 600 tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion started off strong moving from its 18th spot on the startng grid to 13th in the first seven laps. A speeding penalty during the first pit stop of the race on lap 25 pushed Blaney back to 30th, but he battled back to 16th by lap 70. Then things began to unravel.

"The first 100 laps or so we were pretty good,” Blaney said after the race. “When the race track was hot we hit it pretty good and were going forward pretty decently. As the track cooled off, that changed our race car a lot and that started to hurt us."

Imperfect pit stops and a loose wheel kept the Motorcraft/Quick Lane car from finishing higher.

"It was a long night, man, a really, really long night,” Blaney said. “Nothing could go right for us. That was the frustrating part. I didn't do us any favors speeding on the first stop. I think we got most of our track position back after that. Then we had a green-light stop and there was a total miscommunication.

“The next stop we were able to line up with the lead-lap cars and the left front wheel was loose and had to come back and change that tire,” he continued. “We just struggled from there on out. We definitely didn't do ourselves any favors tonight. There's some stuff we have to work on with the race car. I probably didn't do the best job tonight."

Despite the 20th-place finish, Blaney remains 15th in the driver points standings as the Wood Brothers head to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania for the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400.

Ford Performance PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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