EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Joliet, IL)
Saturday, July 19
The No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Starting Position: 1
Finish Position: 1
Owners’ Points Position :
THE RACE REVIEW
· Ryan Blaney and the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang team qualified eighth for Saturday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. This was Blaney’s seventh top-10 qualifying effort of the season.
· During the opening laps of the 200-lap event, Blaney was able to move thru the field and made his was up to the fourth position in just four laps before the race saw its first caution on lap 8, the team elected to stay out.
· On lap 25, Blaney settled into the fourth position yet, was running the fastest laps and radioed to his team he lacked rear grip off the corner. On Lap 35, Blaney was able to catch the third-place car of Dillon and make the pass. By lap 44, Blaney caught the second-place car of Scott and shortly after was able to obtain the position.
· The No. 22 Hertz Ford took the led once race leader, Kyle Larson, made a green flag pit stop on lap 51. Crew chief, Jeremy Bullins called Blaney down pit road on lap 56 under green conditions for four tires, fuel, a track bar and air pressure adjustment. After green flag stops had cycled, Blaney was scored in the second position.
· On lap 105, Blaney was the race leader, he radioed to the team, and his car was very tight into the corners and getting tighter. He lost the lead to Kyle Larson on lap 108 after leading 40 laps. Bullins called for a green flag stop on lap 110 for four tires, fuel, air pressure adjustment and tape on the grill to tighten up Blaney’s mustang. Pit stops cycled through, and Blaney was scored as the leader after passing the No. 42 off pit road during green flag stops.
· NASCAR called a caution for debris on lap 122, the top car stayed out, and the race resumed to green flag conditions on 129. Blaney lost the lead to Larson and proceeded to lose several more positions. He fell down to the seventh position before radioing to the crew he felt a rear vibration and the car was extremely loose.
· Bullins called Blaney to pit road on lap 154 to make changes to the Mustang to improve the handling issues Blaney was experiencing. The team changed four tires, made a track bar adjustment and filled the Ford with fuel. After the unscheduled stop, Blaney was scored in the 21st position.
· Pit stops once again cycled thru in the closing laps of the 200-lap event and Blaney finished the event in the ninth position
· The top-10 finish allows the No. 22 hold down the second position in the Owners’ point standings as they closed to within just five points of the No. 54 of JGR.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
RYAN BLANEY, DRIVER, NO. 22 HERTZ FORD
LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD ONE OF THE DOMINATING CARS THE ENTIRE RACE, WHAT HAPPENED CLOSE TO THE END?
“The Hertz Mustang was fast all night and we certainly had one of the fastest cars, if not the car to beat. The team did a great job all weekend, and during the race, making changes to the car to make it fast. During the course of the race, the track changed, and my Mustang just became too loose to drive it the way I needed to in order to keep it out front. We picked up a bad rear vibration and thought a tire was going down. We made the call to pit to make some changes on the car to tighten it up. We didn’t get the caution we needed to bunch the field back up, but I was able to pick off a few cars and finish ninth with the Hertz Mustang. It was not the result we were looking for tonight, but we will learn what we can from it and move on to the next one.”