Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion overcame an early pit-road speeding penalty and an off-road adventure to finish 19th in the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Blaney had gained two positions from his 19th starting spot when he was caught speeding during the team’s first pit stop. The ensuing drive-through penalty put the Wood Brothers’ Ford all the way back to 37th place.
While battling back from that setback, Blaney went off road in the Glen’s tricky bus stop inner loop during lap 40.
“I didn’t do us any favors today,” Blaney said.
Solid driving and good pit strategy helped get the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford back into the top 20. Blaney was scored as far forward as 13th with 30 laps to go and managed to avoid several accidents toward the end of the 90-lap race to finish in the top 20 for the 15th time in 22 races this season.
“It was pandemonium out there,” Blaney said. “I was just trying not to get wrecked.”
With four races to go before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins in Chicago, Blaney is 19th on the Chase grid, 19 points out of 16th. and the final Chase position. The series takes a week off before it makes its way to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, August 20.