Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team advanced through the three rounds of knockout qualifying at Dover International Speedway on Friday to earn the 11th starting spot for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400.
It was the 21st time in 29 qualifying sessions this season that Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion earned a spot among the top-12 starters.
Blaney was 15th fastest in Friday’s opening practice and posted best lap at 160.356 miles per hour in a session that saw him and his team deal with a failed brake rotor.
They bounced back strong in qualifying, posting the third-fastest lap in Round One with a speed of 159.426 mph. He had the sixth-best time in Round Two with a lap at the exact same speed he ran in Round One.
In the third round, Blaney toured the track at 159.025 mph which put him 11th on the starting grid and was second best among the Ford contingent.
“We were decent in qualifying,” Blaney said in his comments following the session. “I missed Turn Three and went way up the race track.”
Nonetheless, he remains confident about his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion and how it will perform on Sunday.
“I think we have decent speed,” he said. “I just didn’t get through that corner very well, and that hurt us all around.
“I think that we’ll have decent speed for Sunday. I thought we were OK in race trim. It’s just a matter of fine-tuning for Sunday.”
That fine-tuning will come in two practice sessions on Saturday. On Sunday, the Apache Warrior 400 is set to start just after 2 p.m. with TV coverage on NBCSN.