Race: OneMain Financial 200
Date: June 3, 2017
No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 28
Owner’s Points Position (behind leader): 1st (+81)
Recap: Ryan Blaney and the No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang team captured their fourth second place finish of the 2017 season in the OneMain Financial 200 on Saturday afternoon. Blaney showed the speed of the No. 22 Ford early on, qualifying in the second position at Dover International Speedway. Once the race began, Blaney settled in to the second position during the caution filled 60 lap stage. On lap 55, Blaney began to close on race leader Kyle Larson. The two drivers battled side-by-side for the stage win with Larson just edging out Blaney at the line. At the end of the stage, Blaney communicated his Ford was building loose and needed more grip. Crew chief Greg Erwin called Blaney to pit road for a track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. Once stage 2 began, Blaney was able to battle for the lead and went on to lead 28 laps during the 60 lap second stage. On the long run Blaney’s Ford started to build loose, causing him to fall to the second position as the stage ended on lap 120. After pit stops, Blaney would restart the final stage in the 14th position with teams on differing race strategies. Blaney was able to race his way through traffic and up to the second position with 35 laps to go but it was not enough to catch eventual race winner Kyle Larson. The second place finish was Blaney’s third top-10 finish in five races at Dover International Speedway and his sixth top-10 finish in 2017.
Quote: “It’s starting to get back to that performance. They put a lot of work in the offseason towards where this car should run again. Just a lot of hard work by everyone, from Greg Erwin and everybody who puts effort into the team. Not only everyone at the race track but those who put these cars together. They put a lot of time over the winter to try and get back in contention, to win eight to 10 races a year and win an owner’s championship. I think we’re really close. It’s just a matter of closing those little gaps on all race tracks…short track, mile-and-a-halfs, longer tracks. It’s been fun to be a part of that progression. Obviously, we want to be winning races but you have to put the work in to get there. They’ve definitely done that. Just a little bit more is what we need.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!