DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 2, 2017 – If there’s anywhere experience is beneficial on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit, it’s the road courses of Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, the latter being the next test for Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team.
So far in 2017, Blaney maximized his rookie year Sonoma experience and improved from 23rd to ninth at the challenging northern California road course. A year ago at Watkins Glen, he rebounded from an early race penalty to finish 19th. The Wood Brothers’ driver is looking for similar year-over-year improvement at The Glen.
Blaney currently is ninth on the list of drivers qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs and any stage or race wins for the next five weeks would solidify his position as a championship contender when the post-season begins Sept. 17 at Chicagoland Speedway.
On Watkins Glen International:
“I honestly enjoyed Watkins Glen a little bit more than Sonoma last year. I think I did a little bit better at Watkins Glen and it was really fun. It kind of suits a rookie driving style – always on the gas pedal and Watkins Glen has enough grip so you can do that. Hopefully I can calm down a bit and run a little bit better this year.”
On How Experience Helps on a Road Course:
“There are things there that you try to pick up during the race watching some great road racers. I raced near A.J. (Allmendinger) last year and he’s been fantastic there over the last handful of years.”
On Preparation for This Year’s Run at Watkins Glen:
“You try to maximize your braking and be precise. I don’t think I did great (last year). I was just trying to go as fast as I could without a lot of precision. That’s something I have to work on. The Ford simulator has been a lot of help and we’ll go there a couple of times.”
RYAN BLANEY WATKINS GLEN FAST FACTS:
This is his second start at Watkins Glen.
Finished 19th last year in his inaugural run.
Finished ninth at Sonoma earlier this season.
WOOD BROTHERS WATKINS GLEN FAST FACTS:
Marvin Panch won there in 1965.
Has 25 starts, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes as Watkins Glen.
CREW CHIEF JEREMY BULLINS
On Watkins Glen International:
“You can talk all you want about brake wear, tire fall off, fuel mileage and pit strategy at road courses and all of those things will factor into a weekend at Watkins Glen. But there’s no more critical factor at a road course than experience and Ryan has been making the most of his rookie year road course experience this season. In his first year at Sonoma, he finished 23rd and this year we were ninth. Last season, we were 19th at Watkins Glen and we expect similar improvement there this weekend.”
WEEKEND SCHEDULE ON NBCSN (All times Eastern)
Saturday Aug. 5, 10-10:55 a.m. – Practice
Aug. 5, 12:30-1:20 p.m. – Final Practice
Sunday Aug. 6, 12:05 p.m. – Qualifying
Aug. 6, 3 p.m. – I Love New York 355
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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 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 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. 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 number 21 racecar.