NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Kentucky

July 8, 2017

Track:                     Kentucky Speedway
Race:                      Alsco 300
Date:                      July 8, 2017    

No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney

Start:  3rd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 52

Recap: Ryan Blaney and the No.12 Snap-on Ford Mustang team rebounded from a late pit road penalty to finished the rain delayed Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway in the second position. The 23-year-old showed the strength of the No.12 early, qualifying his Ford third during Friday afternoon's session. Blaney quickly powered to the front, battling for the race lead at the drop of the green flag before settling in to the third position. On takeoff, the No.12 Ford was loose but began to build tight on the long run. During the competition caution on lap 25, crew chief Brian Wilson called Blaney to pit road for minor adjustments and two tries to help the handling of the Mustang. Blaney would restart 17th with 16 laps remaining in the first 45-lap stage, racing his way to the ninth position at the drop of the green-white checker. Pit strategy allowed Blaney to start the second stage of the Alsco 300 as the race leader. The No.12 Snap-on Ford was the class of the field, dominating the second stage, leading all 45 laps, in-route to the stage win. Once the race resumed on lap 99, Blaney lost the lead as the No. 20 of Erik Jones and the No. 18 of Kyle Busch went three wide. The third-generation-driver was able to battle back to the second position and fought Jones for the race lead. On lap 167, the yellow flag flew, Blaney and the team elected to pit. On the stop, the team suffered a pit road penalty and Blaney was forced to restart 22nd with 30 laps remaining. Blaney put on a show, driving thru the field in the remaining laps, racing his way up to the second position at the drop of the checkered flag.

Quote: "I didn't really have a lot of fun but it was nice to have a good race car that we could pick our way through the field. We got it really good at the end. We were good all day. I thought we were the best car all day, personally. Before that last caution. I thought we were going to get by the 20 and set sail. The caution came out and we were debating on whether to pit or not. It is easy to look back on it now and say that we should have stayed out and seen what happened. I thought the right call was to pit and we just had a violation. That stings. It almost stings worse running all the way up there and finishing second than if we would have finished 10th or something. I can't thank Brian Wilson and the Snap-On team enough for letting me drive it and working on it all weekend to get it so fast there at the end and really all weekend. Not where we wanted to be but hopefully we learned some stuff for tonight. It is fun to have this double-header. Thanks to the fans for sticking around for a double-header day. It is disappointing. I think you have to look at the positives and know we had a really fast car and that is something to build off of."

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Joey Logano

Start:  4th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 1
Owner's Points Position (behind leader): 1st (+100)

Recap: Joey Logano started fourth and finished sixth in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang on Saturday afternoon's Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Logano, provided a great push to polesitter and eventual race winner Kyle Busch to move to the second position but a caution flag flew before the leaders reached the first turn on the opening lap. After restarting third, Logano ran inside the top-five for the opening 45 laps, ultimately finishing third at the end of the first stage. The balance in the No. 22 Ford was decent, but Logano felt he needed more security at the entry of both corners. With the field working split strategies, the team would restart 15th and have to work forward through the second stage. In traffic, the Discount Tire Mustang was became even looser than it was in clean air, so the team again adjusted on the handling of the with small chassis adjustments. The team also elected to take two tires, but a slow stop due to a lug nut jam prevented them from getting the clean air they were seeking. On the restart, Logano lost several positions, dropping as far as seventh before working forward to the third position. The team remained on a two-tire strategy for the remainder of the event, including the final stop at lap 166. Logano brought the Discount Tire Ford home in the sixth position, providing another solid points day as the team continues their pursuit of another NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner’s Championship.

Quote: "At the end we really needed tires, we ran almost the entire race on the same left side tires and I think that cost us a bit at the end. We had a good car but were just a little off on the tire strategy at the end. Team Penske brought two fast cars to the track this weekend so that's a positive that we can take and build on."