NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Mid-Ohio

August 13, 2016

Track:  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race:   Mid-Ohio Challenge
Date:   August 13, 2016

No. 22 Discount Tire Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start:   3rd
Finish:  3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led:  6
Owner’s Points Position (Points Behind):  5th (-68)                       

Recap:  Ryan Blaney raced like a veteran in the rain on Saturday afternoon at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, coming from the back to the front a couple of times en route to a third-place finish in the Mid-Ohio Challenge.  Blaney qualified third in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang, but had to start at the rear of the field after unapproved adjustments prior to the start of the race when the team had to change brakes.  With the threat of rain looming, Blaney picked up as many positions as he could early before the first caution for rain flew just three laps into the event.  Blaney brought his Discount Tire Ford Mustang in for rain tires and quickly began picking off as many positions as he could.  Looking like a wet-track road racing veteran, Blaney found himself fifth by lap 30 and second on lap 40 despite getting spun around during one of the wet weather restarts.  As the track began to dry, Blaney and crew chief Brian Wilson contemplated on when to come in for slicks.  With a fast stop, Blaney came out of the pits in third and was able to race his way to the lead by lap 48, holding onto the top spot for six laps.  With rain coming again, Wilson brought Blaney in for rain tires once again.  Despite starting on the front row, Blaney slid off the track and lost 15 spots, forcing him to race his way back toward the front once again.  As the race came to an end in a driving rainstorm, Blaney was able to work his way back to up third but didn’t have time to track down the leaders as the checkers flew.  It was Blaney’s second-straight top-three finish in NASCAR XFINTIY Series road course action.

Quote: "We had a pretty good Discount Tire Ford Mustang for sure.  On that next to last wet weather run, after I had slid off the track on the restart, we were two to three seconds faster than the field and drove our way from about 20th to fourth.  The car was good.  But as the rain picked up, I just ended up making too many mistakes.  I lost track position going off the track a couple of times.  With that late caution, I thought I might have a shot when we restarted fourth, but the 2 car didn’t get going and we were in the outside lane, which isn’t where you wanted to be.  We just settled for third, but we were a winning car.  It was really fun to race in the rain.  That’s the first time I've done that.  I just wish the driver wouldn’t have made the mistakes that he did."