Team Penske O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Race Preview
April 1, 2014
O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile high-banked speedway, Ft. Worth, Texas)
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
· HE’S BEEN HERE BEFORE: Despite his limited number of career NNS starts, Blaney has raced at Texas for Team Penske. Back in 2012, during Brad Keselowski’s Sprint Cup Series Championship run, Blaney filled in for Brad on several occasions late in the year, including Texas. Blaney started 19th and went on to finish an impressive second behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire machine.
· TRUCKS TOO: Blaney has also made three starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway, with his best finish coming in early 2013, where he finished eighth.
· COME SEE RYAN: Blaney will make an autograph appearance at the Discount Tire store located at 1330 N. Highway 377 in Roanoke, TX from 11:30a-12:30p on Thursday afternoon.
· TESTING: All three of Team Penske NASCAR cars tested at Memphis on Tuesday afternoon. Blaney drove the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang, while Keselowski and Joey Logano also took part with their Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusions.
· UNIQUE SCHEDULE: Texas’ first race of the year also brings with it a unique schedule. Despite the Cup racing being on Sunday, the Nationwide Series cars will practice on Thursday and qualify and race on Friday. The NCAA Final Four tournament is being played just down the road in Dallas on Saturday.
THE Q & A
RYAN BLANEY, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
THIS WON’T BE YOUR FIRST RACE AT TEXAS WITH TEAM PENSKE. CAN YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM THE LAST ONE IN 2012?
“Other than racing at the track with some of the same team guys, not really. The cars constantly change and improve and the guys are always trying new setups and working on new parts and pieces. So you take the experience and you have notes on how the race played out and mental notes, but that’s about all you can take from him. Other than the fact that we really want to finish one spot better than last time.”
LOTS OF TALK ABOUT CUP DRIVERS IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE?
“I am going to side with a lot of the other Nationwide Series regulars and say I have no problem with it. You always want to race against the best drivers out there, if you are racing legends cars, late models or Nationwide cars. That is how you improve. You might be behind a Brad Keselowski or Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick and might learn something from just watching their car. We are all out there learning and trying to become better so we can race with those guys in the Cup Series each and every week. And when you get to beat them, it makes you feel even more accomplished, because they are some of the best and you were able to beat them that race. That’s an accomplishment.”
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