Ryan Blaney Places 27th in Sprint Cup Series Debut
May 11, 2014
5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Kansas City, Kan.)
· Making his first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion in the 21st position for Saturday night’s race at Kansas. Blaney had to make the field on time and successfully drove his way into the second round of knockout qualifying.
· Once the green flag flew to start the race, Blaney settled into the 27th position. As the race continued, Blaney’s Fusion became loose-handling going into the corners and was tight coming out of the turns. On lap 38, Blaney fell one lap down to the leader, Kevin Harvick.
· On lap 39, the SKF team made a green flag stop and had their first opportunity to make adjustments to Blaney’s Fusion. Crew Chief Jeremy Bullins called for fuel, four tires and a track bar adjustment to address the handling of the car.
· During the middle portion of the event, Blaney radioed that the car was still really loose in the turns and tight coming out of the corners. On lap 113, the caution flag flew while Blaney was running in the 26th position. The SKF crew had another opportunity to work on the loose-handling car. Bullins called for more wedge and an air pressure adjustment on the No. 12 SKF Ford.
· Blaney was able to work his way up to the 23rd position before another caution flag was displayed on lap 202. During the green flag run, Blaney was able to race the SKF Fusion into the lucky dog position and gain back the lap that was previously lost.
· Shortly after the race was restarted, Blaney radioed to his crew that he was feeling a vibration in the car. After a long run, the field started to make green flag stops and Blaney was able to work his way up to the ninth position before reporting that the vibration was getting worse. Bullins called Blaney to pit road on lap 262 to change four tires. During the stop, the crew diagnosed the vibration was due to a broken wheel hub. Blaney also incurred a pit road speeding penalty during the stop.
· Following the penalty, Blaney and the SKF team finished in the 27th position.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
RYAN BLANEY NO. 12 SKF FORD
WERE YOU PREPARED FOR THE CUP RACE WITH IT BEING A MUCH LONGER RACE THAN YOU’RE USED TO?
“Really the biggest thing is just having mental preparations to know that you are going to be in the car for an hour and a half or two hours more than what you are in a truck race. You have to keep your state of mind calm and focused for that long. That is the biggest thing. These cars with all the luxury we have in them now of nice power steering and seats, you don’t get as physically worn out as you used to. It is the mental side you have to prepare for and I think that is the biggest task, keeping your head on for the whole race.”
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