Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile high-banked oval, Bristol, Tenn.)
Saturday, March 15, 2014
The No. 48 Discount Tire/SKF Ford Mustang
Driven By: Ryan Blaney
Starting Position: 5
Finish Position: 4
Owner's Points Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
· Ryan Blaney, making his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the season, qualified the No. 22 Discount Tire / SKF Ford Mustang in the fifth position for Saturday afternoon’s 300-lap event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
· As the race went green, Blaney radioed that the car was good and he settled into fourth place. However, as the first run continued the Discount Tire Mustang became progressively looser.
· With only one caution before lap 96, Blaney lost a lap to the leader while running seventh. However, just a couple of laps later, the caution came out and Blaney was able to get the free pass, putting him back on the lead lap.
· Despite starting at the back of the field after getting the free pass, Blaney sliced his way through traffic, getting back up to fifth.
· Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made big swings throughout the day, lowering the track bar four rounds at one point to tighten the Discount Tire / SKF Ford up. The chassis adjustments worked and Blaney was able to stay in the top-five.
· With just 35 laps to go, Bullins called Blaney into the pits one more time, giving him fresher tires than all of the leaders in front of him. After a torrid battle with the No. 62 of Brendan Gaughan, Blaney set his sights on the front cars.
· Blaney was able to take advantage of a couple of late restarts, climbing back to the fourth position as the checkers flew in the 300-lap event.
· Blaney will return to the seat of the No. 22 at Texas Motor Speedway, while Joey Logano will get his first shot at the Nationwide Series next weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
· The No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang now sits second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners’ point standings, just seven points behind the No. 54 from Joe Gibbs Racing.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
RYAN BLANEY, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE / SKF FORD MUSTANG
FOR YOUR FIRST RACE BACK IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES, IT WAS A GOOD FINISH, RIGHT?
“I’m really excited about the finish, especially considering where we started. We started out really loose and we didn’t think it would go that way. We thought we made good adjustments to make sure it was tight enough in the race, but when we took off we were just so loose and fell back. Jeremy Bullins and everyone on this No. 22 team did an awesome job of getting this thing where it needed to be. I think if a couple cautions fell at the right time, we might have been able to run second. I don’t know if we had anything for the No. 54, but I’m proud of my guys on this Discount Tire / SKF Ford. I’m really looking forward to the next time I’m in it at Texas.”
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?
“You’ve just got to be patient in these long races. These are a lot longer than Truck races and so much can happen. We have more pit stops here, so you have more opportunities to work on the cars. In the Truck Series, you have maybe one or two chances to work on them, so you really have to keep your head on your shoulders. We didn’t start off very good at all, but they did a great job of tuning on it and I was able to pull off a decent finish there.”