BLANEY FIGHTS BACK AFTER PIT ROAD TROUBLES FOR A ‘SOLID FINISH’

  • Ryan Blaney started from fifth position in Sunday afternoon’s 301-lap race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
  • After being delayed by weather for over three hours, Blaney wasted no time moving toward the front, moving up to second position before the competition caution on lap 35. He reported the balance of his Menards/Sylvania Ford Fusion was loose in and tight off of the corners. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call for right side tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment during the stage caution on lap 37. Those adjustments helped the loose condition, but made the car tighter as the run went along. Near the stage conclusion, Blaney and Kyle Busch made slight contact off Turn 4, pushing in the left-rear fender over the tire. Despite the damage, Blaney brought home a fifth-place finish in Stage 1.
  • During the stage caution, Bullins called Blaney to pit road for a four-tire stop on lap 77 plus fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The left-rear body damage slowed down the pit stop, which shuffled Blaney back to 19th position for the restart on lap 82.
  • Stage 2 began with Blaney slicing his way through traffic and driving back into the top-10. He reported his Ford started off tight and began to build on the loose side. He finished Stage 2 in the ninth-place, a net-gain of 10 positions from when the segment began. During the stage caution, the team took four tires, fuel and an additional air pressure adjustment for entry security.
  • The third and final stage began on lap 258 with Blaney restarting outside the top-five. He quickly worked his way back to the front as the event neared its conclusion. Late in the race he had a miscue on pit road with Kurt Busch leading to a long pit stop and losing track position. Blaney recovered and scored a seventh-place finish, his best effort in five starts at New Hampshire. The driver of the Menards/Sylvania Ford claimed his 10th top-10 of the 2018 season and moved up to ninth in the MENCS driver standings, a gain of one position.

Quote:
“It was a challenging day for our Menards/Sylvania Ford Fusion team. We had good speed early, but needed to make sure adjustments to have a chance at the win. We had two things not go our way on pit road, but we fought back for a solid finish.”

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