Strong Run for Ryan Blaney Generates Momentum into Phoenixby Kyle Pokrefky March 7, 2016
Ryan Blaney took home Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors for Wood Brothers Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, bringing home a sixth-place finish in the Kobalt 400.
The driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford turned in a solid, consistent performance in the third race of the Sprint Cup season, moving himself up to 14th in the Chase standings following the 267-lap event.
What was to be a good run that was going for the team one weekend ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway went awry on the last lap when Blaney was involved in an accident.
Having righted the ship, so to speak, with a top-10 performance, Blaney’s day in Las Vegas was a redemption of sorts.
“It was a good day for us,” Blaney said. “We started out okay. We progressively got better throughout the day. That’s really all you can ask for.
“We were really, really strong there with 30 laps on our tires. We could really start making a lot of ground. We lost so much ground the first 29 laps, we kind of break even by the time it was over…
“Overall a good day. A nice day to have after our disappointment last week in Atlanta. That was tough for us. Hopefully this is a good step in the right direction. But our team did a great job.”
Scoring his third career top-10 in the Sprint Cup Series, Blaney feels that his Las Vegas run will generate some momentum into the West Coast swing and Sunday’s Good Sam 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway.
“To come here and have a solid run all day really ups the spirits,” Blaney stated. “This team is working very well together. We kind of had a trial run last year running part‑time. Now we brought in some new personnel this year. They’ve done a great job since Daytona.
“But just reps at the racetrack and consistency there, they’ve been doing a great job. Jeremy Bullins [crew chief] is doing a fantastic job also…
“It’s a big, big accomplishment for the Wood Brothers team today and hopefully gives us some good momentum for Phoenix.”
Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images