Sprint Cup
Team Penske
Subscribe    Print This Page   

Team Penske Food City 300 Race Preview

August 19, 2014




THE RACE
    
Food City 300
Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile high-banked oval)
Friday, August 22, 7:30 PM ET

THE CAR

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

 

THE NEWS AND NOTES

The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang    

· A LONG WEEKEND: Ryan Blaney will be pulling double duty as he makes his return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend, but in an unconventional way.  Blaney will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS), a one-day show for the NCWTS.  He will then practice the No. 22 Team Penske Ford on Thursday before qualifying and racing in the 300-lap event on Friday evening.

· A NEW LEADER:  A tweet from Team Penske teammate Joey Logano last weekend that said “no pressure Ryan” means good things for the 20-year-old Blaney.  The No. 22 Discount Tire car moved back into the NNS Owners’ Championship point lead following Alex Tagliani’s top-five last weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.  After trailing all season, the No. 22 is now up by 21 points over the No. 54 team from Joe Gibbs Racing.  The No. 22 team is looking for their second-consecutive NNS Owners’ Championship.

· LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENT:  Blaney made his first Nationwide Series start of the season in March at BMS. The young driver qualified fifth and finished fourth, his best finish in two NNS starts at the half-mile track.

· CONTINUING HIS STREAK: Blaney’s fourth-place finish in the Nationwide Series earlier this year at BMS continued his streak of top-10 finishes in combined NASCAR starts at the track.  In addition to earlier this season, Blaney has scored another NNS top-10 at Bristol (finished seventh for Tommy Baldwin in 2012), two NCWTS top-10s (sixth and third for BKR) and one K&N Pro Series East top 10 (second driving for Dave Blaney Racing).

    
THE Q & A

RYAN BLANEY, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD

THE NO. 22 TEAM IS BACK IN THE OWNERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINT LEAD.  HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT TO THE TEAM TO WIN AGAIN IN 2014?

“It is important. You look at it this way – it’s the car that scores the most points in Nationwide Series races all year long, no matter who is driving the car. And while no driver is running for the Driver Championship, we are running for a Championship nonetheless as a team. And it’s very important for the guys back at the shop. There are over 100 people who work on these cars at the shop and winning the Owners’ Championship is just as important to them, if not more, than even the drivers who drive the car. It’s huge for the team. It’s huge for the company. So it’s important for us to do it again and we are in a good position for it. But there is a lot of time left this year.

JEREMY BULLINS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BRISTOL AS A CREW CHIEF AND GOING BACK A SECOND TIME?

“Going to Bristol is always fun, but the night race is special. It’s where it all started, racing short tracks on Friday and Saturday nights, so to be in that environment is a nice change of pace. We’re excited to be headed there with Ryan Blaney in the Discount Tire Mustang. He’s really good there and I think it’s one of his stronger tracks. We ran really well there in the spring and we look forward to improving on our return trip Friday night.”