Early Wreck Relegates Blaney, SKF Ford Team to a 39th-Place Finish at Richmond
September 11, 2016
A crash just 10 laps into Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway took Ryan Blaney and his SKF Ford team out of contention for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and eliminated any chance for a good finish in the race.
Blaney took the No. 21 SKF Fusion to the garage where his crew spent more than 100 laps patching up the damage. He returned him to the track and gained one spot to finish 39th.
Blaney described the contact with Trevor Bayne that preceded his spin into the wall as “unfortunate” and said one of his biggest regrets was not being able to deliver a strong race for sponsors SKF and Motion Industries.
“I thought I was clear,” Blaney said. “It is an unfortunate race deal.”
“I want to thank SKF for being on board. I wish we could have worked on our car and gotten it better throughout the night.
“It is unfortunate that we didn’t get to run to see where our car was going to go. That is the most unfortunate part about this. We didn’t even give ourselves a shot at it. That is something I will have regret about.”
“All we can do is go on to Chicago and try to do better there.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood praised his crew for getting the No. 21 Fusion back on the track and running with good speed despite considerable damage.
“They did a good job putting it back together,” Wood said. “Even with the car torn up, Ryan was turning some good lap times.”
Wood also said he’s glad his Wood Brothers team will get another chance to better represent SKF.
“They will be back on the car at Phoenix, and we will do our best to represent them well there,” Wood said.
The No. 21 team will be back with sponsor Motorcraft/Quick Lane this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway to begin the final 10 races of the 2016 season.
“Even though we won’t be a part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, we will be racing at some of our best tracks,” Wood said. “Our team will bounce back from tonight’s disappointment, and we look forward to getting our share of the attention before the season ends with the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”