SONOMA, Calif., June 25, 2017 – Ryan Blaney piloted the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to ninth place in the Save Mart 350 this afternoon on the undulating twists and turns of the Sonoma Raceway road course.
Blaney qualified the iconic Wood Brothers No. 21 seventh on Saturday and he raced with the leaders all day. Even when he was working from the middle of the pack after pit stops, he was able to navigate his way back into the top 10. He ran as high as second place early in Stage 2.
It was Blaney’s sixth top-10 finish of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
“It was pretty physical out there,” Blaney said after the race. “We had a long green-flag run there at the end. There were some different strategies and we kind of played to the side of if there was a caution at the end we would be in a good spot. That is why we had some of the oldest tires out there.
“We were still able to make moves and pass some cars,” Blaney continued. “That is a good day for us. It is good to end up about where we should have. Where we deserved. A big improvement from last year so that is nice. It is a good run for us and hopefully bodes well for Watkins Glen as well.”
Blaney qualified 26th and finished 23rd a year ago at Sonoma.
A different year and a different story for the second-year Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team driver. He finished Stage 1 of this year’s race in fourth place and seventh in Stage 2, collecting a total of 11 additional stage points.
Blaney was one of five Fords in the top 10 – including the top three – today at Sonoma.
The next stop on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit is Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. on NBC.