Team Penske Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300 Race Preview

September 9, 2014


THE RACE

Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300
Chicagoland Speedway
Saturday, September

THE CAR

The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driven by Ryan Blaney
    

THE NEWS AND NOTES
 
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
    
· BACK-TO-BACK WEEKENDS:
For only the second time this year, Ryan Blaney will compete in back-to-back NASCAR Nationwide Series events for Team Penske.  After finishing fourth last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Blaney will again be behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

· A RETURN ENGAGEMENT:  The NASCAR Nationwide Series has already raced at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway once this season, so the return trip will benefit Blaney. In the summer race, Blaney started eighth and finished ninth in the event where he struggled with the balance of the No. 22 Ford Mustang.  It was the first time that the youngster had raced at the 1.5-mile track in the Nationwide Series.

· BUSY LEAD UP:  Even though there will be a lot of demands on the Sprint Cup Series drivers leading into Chicagoland, Blaney will have just as busy of a weekend. Blaney will make a visit to the SKF factory in Elgin, Ill on Wednesday afternoon. He will follow that up with a public autograph session at the Discount Tire store located at 2845 Plainfield Rd in Joliet, Ill. beginning at 2:30pm.

· BACK IN THE TRUCK AS WELL: Blaney won’t only focus on the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend, he will also be competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Chicagoland on Friday evening.  Blaney comes into the weekend as the most recent winner in the series, winning at the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks ago.

· NO. 400:  Last weekend, Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, marking Team Penske’s 400th win as a racing organization. Of those 400 wins, 44 of them have come in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.


THE Q & A    

RYAN BLANEY, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD

HOW NICE IS IT TO GO BACK TO A TRACK THE SECOND TIME WITH THE 22 TEAM?

“I think you are always going to run better when you go back for a second time. Not only do you have the notes from guys like Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano), but you have your own notes as well. That helps a lot. Jeremy (Bullins, crew chief) knows better what I’m looking for in the car. We know how the track is likely going to react to changes that we make. When we unload the car, we hope it is closer to what we need because we know what we had last time around. So there are always advantages to going to a track a second time. I think you saw that at Bristol for sure. We came out of there with a win.  Hopefully, we can do it again.”

THERE ARE A LOT OF NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES DRIVERS RACING THIS WEEKEND IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES.  DO YOU LIKE RACING AGAINST THEM?

“I don’t think there is any driver out there that doesn’t like to race against the Cup guys. We know they are in great equipment, so if you can beat them, then you know you did something special. When we won at Bristol, I was able to win that race with guys like Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick in the field. That’s a big deal when you think back and know that you were able to beat the Nationwide regulars, which are great in their own right, but also when you beat these Cup guys that win races on Sundays all of the time. You can learn a thing or two from them, and it always helps.”