Wood Brothers Racing–Motorcraft/Quick Lane Rookies Show Veteran-Like Performances At Kansas

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Rookies Show Veteran-Like Performances At Kansas

October 18, 2015

This weekend, the Kansas Speedway saw Ryan Blaney and his crew chief Jeremy Bullins put together their best performance of the 2015 season at an intermediate-length track.

The two Sprint Cup rookies had their No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion near or at the top of the scoreboard from the opening of practice on Friday through the end of the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday.

The official results show that Blaney qualified 8th and finished 7th, but the overall story is much better than that. Blaney posted the 12th best speed in opening practice, then had a remarkable run in qualifying that saw him top the field in the second of three sessions before earning the 8th starting position.

Then on Sunday he ran in the lead group for most of the race and led the field for five laps before coming home 7th on a green-white-checkered-flag run to the finish.

Other than a few laps in which he dropped out of the top 10, it was a stellar day for Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team – on the track and on pit road.

“Obviously we are pleased with a great weekend with starting and finishing in the top 10,” said Bullins, adding that the team’s strong performances in the past two weeks, including a 14th-place finish at Charlotte, are coming at a time when Sprint Cup racing is as tough as it gets. “It’s really cool knowing we are in the Chase races, and everyone is bringing their best stuff. We felt like we had a top-10 car at Charlotte last week but we didn’t execute well enough to finish there, but [at Kansas] we did.”

For the record, Blaney finished ahead of eight of the 12 drivers competing for the championship at Kansas.

Blaney said Bullins deserves a lot of credit for the positive results at Kansas.

“Jeremy did a great job of getting us better and getting us where we needed to be at the end, and be able to run toward the front,” Blaney said of Sunday’s race. “Overall these guys put together a good race car, and it’s a great way to start the last four races of the season.”

Blaney said the time he and Bullins have spent together in recent weeks, including racing back-to-back races at Charlotte and Kansas and a couple of test sessions, continues to pay dividends. “We’ve learned some things. We still have to get a lot better but we’re getting there. Being on the race track more is part of it.”

“Things come with time for both me and Jeremy, and we’re finally getting some time under our belt.”

Next weekend the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team heads to Talladega Superspeedway, where back in May the team posted its best starting and finishing results of the season. Blaney qualified 3rd and finished 4th in the GEICO 500 after contending for the win in the closing stages.

For Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500, Bullins and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will use the same Ford Fusion that they raced last time at Talladega, with a lot of more preparation in the meantime.

“We’re ready to go back there next week, and everyone is fired up for that,” Bullins said. “Ryan has done a really nice job in the draft, and we look forward to the opportunity to try to compete with the best again next week.”