Valiant Effort At Phoenix Not Enough To Keep Blaney SKF/Quick Lane Team In The Playoff Picture

by Official Release On Sun, Nov. 12, 2017

Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 SKF/Quick Lane Ford team came up short of being among the four drivers and their teams that will compete for the Monster Energy Cup Series championship at Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week.

But despite fading to 17th place at the finish of Sunday’s Can-Am 500 and coming 23 points shy of advancing, they left Phoenix Raceway with their heads held high after a season full of amazing accomplishments.

“It’s disappointing, but at the same time we have a lot to be proud of for sure,” Blaney said in his post-race comments. “The nine weeks that we had [in the playoffs] is something to be proud of.

“It’s a shame we’re not racing for the championship, but we can still try to win the race.”

Blaney started Sunday’s 312-mile race from the pole and led the first 11 laps, but it was soon apparent that his SKF/Quick Lane Fusion wasn’t fast enough to win the race, which was his most realistic option for advancing to the championship round at Homestead.

Still, he and the team battled hard throughout the race and found themselves in the top five as the laps wound down. But to keep that track position meant staying on the track during late-race cautions, and staying on the track ended up putting him at a disadvantage to drivers behind him with fresher tires.

“We were debating whether to pit or not there and just didn’t, so that made us fall back,” he said. “I thought we could have stayed up and you never know what could have happened, but we just never had the car all day to compete up front.”

That’s not to say Blaney and the team didn’t put forth a 100-percent effort.

“We did a good job on restarts,” Blaney said. “I thought we were decent on restarts all day. We were able to start up towards the front and just didn’t work out for us.

“We still have one more race to go with the Wood Brothers group, so hopefully we can go and have a good run at Miami.”

Team co-owner Len Wood echoed Blaney’s comments about the team having a lot to be proud of, including a win at Pocono, poles at Kansas and Phoenix and a nine-week run in the playoffs.

“We came within one race of making the championship round,” Wood said. “It’s been an amazing season, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the alliance we have with Team Penske.”

Wood also said he’s proud to have two Ford teammates among the four competing for the title in Ford Championship Weekend.

“We’re proud to have Team Penske’s No. 2 team and their driver Brad Keselowski among the final four along with Kevin Harvick from Stewart-Haas Racing,” Wood said. “It’s good to see half the championship contenders carrying the colors of Ford Motor Company, and we hope to have a great run ourselves in the Ford 400 as we say goodbye to Ryan Blaney and Jeremy Bullins, who have made major contributions to Wood Brothers history in their three seasons with us.

The No. 21 Fusion will carry its familiar Motorcraft/Quick Lane colors in the season-ending Ford 400 on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

 

About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers

Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, light repair services including brake repair, and tire replacements on all vehicle makes and models. With more than 800 locations and growing, customers can visit www.quicklane.com to find a center that is closest to them, print savings coupons and review maintenance tips to keep their vehicles running at peak efficiency. This site includes information on how to spot tire wear, how to jump-start a battery and even a series of tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.

SKF

SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. www.skf.com.

Wood Brothers Racing

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 118 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney in the famous No. 21 racecar.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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