ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway (0.75-mile speedway, Richmond, Vir.)
Friday, April 25, 2014
The No. 22 SKF / Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driiver: Ryan Blaney
Starting Position: 3
Finish Position: 9
Owner's Points Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
· Making his third start of the season, Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 22 SKF / Discount Tire Ford in the third position for Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
· Rain, which has hampered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all season long, delayed the start of the Nationwide Series race by over three hours, with the green flag coming right around the 10:30pm hour.
· As the race started, Blaney settled into position and logged laps inside the top-four prior to the competition caution, which flew on lap 40.
· During the middle portion of the 250-lap event, Blaney ran around sixth. However, on lap 85, he started falling through the field, complaining that the car was really tight in the center and extremely loose off.
· On lap 107, Blaney radioed the SKF / Discount Tire crew that his right front tire was going down and came in for an unscheduled pit stop. After the stop, it was discovered that the RF had severely “corded,” a problem that would plague Blaney and the rest of the field all night long.
· Despite the issues, once green-flag stops cycled through, Blaney found himself once again in fifth. He would continue to run in the top-five for the rest of the race.
· With just 15 laps to go, Blaney once again radioed in that he felt that his right front tire was cording. Blaney had to hang on to an ill-handling car over the last 15 laps, losing several positions in the process.
· As the checkers flew, Blaney found himself ninth. Despite the late issues, Blaney has now finished in the top-10 in all three of his 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series events.
· The No. 22 Team Penske Mustang slipped to fourth in the NNS Owners’ point standings, but sits just 23 points behind the leader.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
RYAN BLANEY, NO. 22 SKF / DISCOUNT TIRE FORD MUSTANG
EVERYONE SEEMED TO BE HAVING TIRE ISSUES TONIGHT. IT JUST SEEMED TO AFFECT YOU GUYS AT THE WRONG TIMES.
“Yeah, especially late in the run there. We started cording the tire over the last 30 laps and it just progressively got worse. I felt like we started the race pretty good. Then, late in the run we would give up turn in the middle and forward drive, pretty much everything you need we would give up. I thought we got decent by the middle of the race. Then, on the last restart, we left fuel out of it to see if it would take off and it didn’t. It ended up being way too tight with the fuel out of it. We corded the right front early and the right front was about to blow again there at the end which is why we fell back. Just couldn’t hold onto it. This tire is throwing us for a curve. It is tough to figure out. But we had a SKF / Discount Tire Ford that could have finished in the top-four for sure. I don’t think we would have had anything for the top-two guys, but we could have raced with the 54 (Kyle Busch) and raced for third for sure. Just bad timing with that last tire issue.”