BLANEY RALLIES BACK AFTER A LONG DAY AT POCONO

  • Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 PPG Ford Fusion in 18th position during Saturday’s qualifying session for the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway. However, he was forced to start from the 33rd position after the No. 12 was one of 13 cars that failed post-qualifying technical inspection.
  • Over the course of the first 50-lap stage, Blaney radioed to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that he was too tight on exit of all three Pocono corners, the worse being on the on exit of Turn 2.
  • During the first pit stop of the day – under the green flag at lap 25 – Bullins adjusted the air pressure and wedge in the No. 12 Ford, plus four tires. The adjustments had a positive effect, but led to a loose-handing condition on corner entry. Blaney fought off the condition to finish 10th in Stage 1.
  • When the second 50-lap stage began, Blaney radioed that he too tight, especially in traffic. The plan for the stage was to run longer than other competitors to set up the strategy for the final stage. Unfortunately, a caution at lap 83 forced Bullins to call his driver down pit road early for service, leading to a ninth-place finish in Stage 2.
  • Throughout the final 60-lap stage, Blaney radioed this team that he needed help turning around the tricky, three-turn track. Bullins continued to make adjustments to help his driver, who maintained a position solidly inside the top-15.
  • On lap 138, Blaney and the No. 14 of Clint Bowyer made contact, knocking him out of the racing groove. The incident shuffled Blaney back to 18th in the running order, but the young driver rallied back through the field down to the stretch to claim a 12th-place finish at the checkered flag.

Quote: “It was a long weekend. We struggled a little bit off the truck with the PPG Ford Fusion and just could never really get where we were very good. I was hopeful that we would get a little better in the race but we never really did. We have work to do. Hopefully we can get there.” 

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