Blaney takes checkered flag in fourth place

A late-race pit strategy gamble put Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion in position to win the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in overtime, but cars with newer tires passed the Wood Brothers’ rookie on the last re-start and he ended up with a very strong fourth place.
Among the challenges the team faced were a car that didn’t handle well in traffic early in the race and a couple of pit miscues.
“We got it better,” Blaney said of the handling issue. “It also gets better the farther you get up in the field.
“It was a long day for us for sure,” he said. “We passed a lot of cars. We started 22nd and worked on the car all day. The gamble paid off since we finished a little bit better than we were going to. That’s a true testament to this team. We didn’t start off great but worked on the car all day. Taking a risk like that. Sometimes they don’t pay off. This one did. It was a good run for us. Hopefully we can do something like that in the next 10 weeks.”
The finish is Blaney’s eighth top-10 of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Although Blaney is not in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, he moved up from 21st to 19th in the driver points standings. The next race on the schedule is the New England 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday, September 25.


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