John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 at Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Sparta, Ky.)
Friday, June 27, 2014
The No. 12 Snap-On Ford Mustang
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Starting Position: 9
Finish Position: 5
THE RACE REVIEW
• Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 Snap-on Tools Ford Mustang in the ninth position for Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
• All evening long, Blaney would have issues on the race’s starts and restarts, as was the case on the initial green. He slipped back a couple of position, but 15 laps later, Blaney found himself back in ninth place.
• The Snap-on Ford Mustang was a little tight in the center of the turns but pretty good overall. A few minor changes by crew chief Greg Erwin improved the car, and Blaney would talk about track position being the biggest key for the rest of the event.
• Blaney ran between ninth and sixth for most of the night. Following each restart, Blaney would drop a few positions but he was always able to make them up in the next few laps.
• Just past the halfway point, thanks to a great pit stop and a fast car, Blaney was able to work his way into the top-five for the first time and settled into fourth.
• The final round of pit stops occurred with just over 50 laps to go and under green flag conditions. If the stops would have completely cycled through, Blaney would have come out running second. However, a caution before the stops were complete allowed those that had yet to stop to get fresh tires and start right behind the No. 12 Snap-on Ford.
• Blaney tried to hold on to the position over a number of late-race restarts, but slipped back to seventh. Though on each restart, he was able to work his way back toward the front, eventually coming home fifth as the checkers flew.
• It was Blaney’s third top-five finish in just six NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
RYAN BLANEY, NO. 12 SNAP-ON FORD
YOU HAD AN UP AND DOWN NIGHT, ESPECIALLY ON RESTARTS. TRACK POSITION WAS HUGE. HOW WAS YOUR RACE?
“It was good. We didn’t start great, and I got really loose the first couple of laps and we slipped back to 12th but Greg Erwin and everyone at Penske did an awesome job of getting me better throughout the night. As the night came, and it kind of cooled off, it came to us a little bit but a lot of it was Greg on the box just making great calls. Track position was so big tonight, and we had great pit stops that got us a couple spots on pit road. That definitely helped us. Restarts didn’t really play our way. We got put three-wide on a couple of restarts and that kind of hurt us. I was thinking, ‘when are we gonna catch a break here on the restarts,’ and then finally on that last one we started on the outside and gained a spot. I’m proud of everybody on the Snap-on Ford Mustang. It’s not a bad showing. We wish we could have been up there for the win, but that’s the way it goes. I’m just happy for the chance.”
YOU WERE SIXTH ON THE START RESTART IN THE OUTSIDE LANE. DID YOU THINK YOU HAD A CHANCE?
“I thought we had a good chance to win. I knew our line was really strong. We were starting with Kyle (Busch) and Brad (Keselowski) and me on the outside and I thought we would really go, and especially with Kyle being the leader. I thought that line would really roll. But I had to be hesitant in turn one because the three tried to get to my outside, and I blocked him and then he tried to go in the middle, and I was kind of hesitant getting to the bottom. It was just kind of circumstance, but luckily we were able to get to fifth. I think if maybe we would have had 10 more laps, I could have worked on the 33 for fourth, but I’m happy for this run. We had a fast car, but we couldn’t really get the track position we needed.”