No. 12 PPG Ford Fusion – Ryan Blaney
Stage 1: 26th
Stage 2: 9th
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 10th (-295)
• Ryan Blaney qualified the No. 12 PPG Ford Fusion in 11th position for Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.
• During the first 20-lap stage, Blaney radioed to his crew the PPG Ford Fusion lacked overall grip, especially with the rear of the car. In just his third start at Watkins Glen, the young driver fought hard and stayed inside the top-10 as Stage 1 drew to a close.
• In an early strategy move, crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to bring Blaney to pit road on lap 17 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. When the stage ended three laps later, Blaney was scored in the 26th position.
• The PPG Ford remained on track during the stage caution between laps 22-24. Blaney gained track position, but wasn’t completely happy with balance of his No. 12 Ford around the 2.45-mile road course. Bullins kept Blaney on-track until Stage 2 ended on lap 40, collecting a ninth-place finish and collecting two valuable stage points.
• The next stop for Blaney came on lap 42 during the stage caution. Bullins and the PPG crew made larger adjustments including wedge, track bar and air pressure to help the PPG Ford in the faster portions of the course. Blaney was instructed by Bullins to save fuel at every opportunity.
• Unfortunately, the strategy didn’t pan out, thanks to a caution on lap 55 for a stalled car on the course, which forced Blaney to remain on sequence with the frontrunners. He came to pit road on lap 56 for what would be his final stop of the day. He scored a 12th-place finish when the checkered flag waved on lap 90, he was scored with a 12th place finish on the day and remains 10th in the MENCS driver standings.
Quote: “It was a long day. We struggled all weekend, really, and just couldn’t really go anywhere. We’d fire off okay and then just fade terribly, so we’ve got some work to do here.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!