DEARBORN – Three races into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team roll into Phoenix International Raceway in sixth place overall, seemingly on the cusp of victory.
Blaney was an ounce or so of American Ethanol shy of victory at Daytona last month and finished second. He was strong again, but snake-bitten, at Atlanta winding up in 18th. Then he spent all of last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the top 10, including the seventh-place finish.
Phoenix, the second leg of NASCAR’s three-race West Coast Swing, is a track that suits Blaney’s driving style. In his first two visits to PIR as a rookie last season, Blaney finished 10th in the spring and eighth in the fall.
Add those impressive results to his three consecutive Phoenix top 10s (2012-2014) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and he’s never finished a race there outside of the top 10.
“Phoenix is a tough race track. The two corners are very different and the car likes certain things in each corner. It helps to have a couple races there under our belt to build on.”
RYAN BLANEY PHOENIX FAST FACTS:
- Posted top-10 finishes in both 2016 Phoenix races
- Also had three top-10 truck series finishes 2012-2014
WOOD BROTHERS PHOENIX FAST FACTS:
This will be the team’s 28th start at Phoenix
Has four top-10 finishes, including two last season with Blaney at the wheel
CREW CHIEF JEREMY BULLINS
On Phoenix International Raceway:
“From the technical side it’s difficult at Phoenix to get both ends of the race track as good as you want. Typically, if you’re good in turns one and two you might be too tight in three and four or vice versa. The dogleg on the back stretch also creates some setup changes as it’s the highest loaded area of the track (which is typically the corners at most tracks) so you have to make some compromises to keep your car from bottoming out through that section.”
On team’s fast start to 2017:
“Obviously we are pleased with the way we have started 2017. The Atlanta finishing position won't show it but that car was probably stronger than the second- and seventh-finishing cars we had at Daytona and Vegas. It's the way you want to start out and gives us something to build from as we get deeper into the season.”