Blaney, Bullins, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team Look to Close 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season on High Note at Homestead-Miami

  • Driver Ryan Blaney, crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team pull into Homestead-Miami Speedway for Ford Championship Weekend and the Ford EcoBoost 400 striving to finish the season on an upswing.
  • So far in 2016, Blaney has driven the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion to three top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Three of those top 10s came on consecutive weekends early in the season at Talladega, Kansas and Dover. He also led eight laps later in the season at Chicagoland and was out front for three trips around Talladega last month.

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 16, 2016 – Driver Ryan Blaney, crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team pull into Homestead-Miami Speedway for Ford Championship Weekend and the Ford EcoBoost 400 striving to finish the season on an upswing.

“It always helps doing well in the last race of the year to have good momentum for the next season,” Blaney said. “Miami is one of my favorite places to go. We can run right up against the wall to the bottom lane. That versatility makes it fun.”

Bullins agreed, “It certainly never hurts to end the season on a high note and we believe Homestead is a good track for us to do that.”

There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout Blaney’s first full NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Enough ups and downs to balance out and put him 20th in driver points standings going into the final race of the season.

“The first full season has been a good one,” Blaney said. “It’s been nice to run every week and get experience.

“We were very strong in the beginning and the end of the year,” the 22-year-old driver said. “The middle portion is when we slumped a little.”

So far in 2016, Blaney has driven the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion to three top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Three of those top 10s came on consecutive weekends early in the season at Talladega, Kansas and Dover. He also led eight laps later in the season at Chicagoland and was out front for three trips around Talladega last month.

In addition, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate finished in the top-15 on 18 occasions and in the top-20 in 24 of 35 events.

“If you look at our team as a whole, we are starting to be a consistent top-10 finisher, and that leads to top-five finishes,” Bullins explained. “Once you do that, the opportunities to win will present themselves more often and you can take advantage. Coming off a great finish at Phoenix, having a great car at Texas, and being fast week in and week out, I’m confident in where we are headed and what we have to look forward to this weekend and beyond.”

Unfortunately, The Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew experienced more than its share of wrecks and bad racing luck that relegated the No. 21 to a number of finishes in the back half of the field, eliminating Blaney from Chase contention.

“Those kept us out of the Chase, unfortunately,” Blaney said. “The timing of wrecks and DNFs were bad and that’s something that has to change.”

Bullins sees a bright future for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, “I feel like a few races took us out of Chase contention, and I think that would have been cool to be a part of in our first full season together. However, like I’ve said all along, we don’t just want to make the Chase, we want to contend for championships.”

Last year at Homestead, Blaney qualified sixth and finished 17th.

“Homestead is a track where the groove can move around all over the track,” Bullins explained. “You may start a run around the bottom line, move all the way to the wall, then not be able to run the wall and move to the middle lane. Your car has to be versatile enough to do that, and the setup becomes a compromise to do so.”

This will be the 18th start for Wood Brothers Racing at Homestead. So far, the team has two top-10 finishes at the south Florida track.

Blaney also will be running the Team Penske No. 22 Mustang in the XFINITY Series finale at Homestead. Last year, he started and finished that race in fifth.

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About Motorcraft
Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.

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.

Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glenn Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 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. Glenn’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 number 21 racecar.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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