The last time Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team ran at Dover International Speedway, a broken axle prevented them from an impressive top-10 finish. They will need to avoid the racing pitfalls this weekend during the Apache Warrior 400 to maintain or improve their position in the NASCAR Playoffs.
Blaney and company are currently eighth in the Playoff standings going into the first elimination race of the 2017 postseason. Twelve of the 16 Playoff drivers will advance into Round 2, which starts Oct. 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
When the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford has avoided mechanical problems, Blaney has run well at Dover. He started 18th and finished eighth in his first attempt in 2016. A blown tire in the fall race last season prevented a better finish.
On the NASCAR Playoffs:
“Being able to return to a place and close out the first round strong would be really nice. You never know what could happen. We could break or get in a wreck, so we’ll just go and have a solid day and see what we can do.”
On Dover International Speedway:
“We’ve always run well at Dover. That’s a pretty cool place and it’s constantly changing with the rubber that gets put down there. You’re always moving your line around and it gets pretty fun. It’s all about trying to make sure your car can adapt to the race track as it changes during a run. That’s something that’s challenging to a driver but it’s fun to work with the track bar and the brake bias during a run.”
“We broke an axle there in June when we were running eighth or ninth, which kind of stunk because I thought we had a pretty decent car there. I think that track will be pretty good to us.”