Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Wood Brothers Racing Team scored their best finish of the young 2016 season with a sixth-place finish at the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Charging into the top-10 after 36 laps from his 14th starting position, Blaney stayed among the sport’s elite drivers all day, even scoring as high as fourth on lap 150.
“We were good all day,” Blaney said after the race. “We were able to drive up through the field early and we made the car better throughout the day. It’s a great day. It’s a good way to get our season back on track after Atlanta. We had a good run and it always makes you feel good going into next week.”
The big story of the afternoon was the high winds that blew across the speedway throughout the race. Blaney said the wind caused him at least one close call.
“If a gust hit you wrong it was ‘hang on tight’ between (turns) three and four,” he explained. “I actually almost caused a big one on a re-start because a huge gust of wind hit us. It was really unpredictable but the spotter does a great job of telling you what’s going on.”
This sixth-place finish is the best for Blaney and the Wood Brothers since last year’s spring race at Talladega when they placed fourth.
“The car is always extremely fast,” Blaney said. “The Wood Brothers do a great job and we have to thank Penske for all of their support. The team’s growing together. They’re learning and so am I and hopefully this is a good way to get our season going from here.”
Helping the 22-year-old rookie of the year contender with his run today was his pit crew.
“They’re a solid crew,” Blaney said. “They did a fantastic job on pit road. I don’t think we ever lost any spots.”
The young driver felt this was a good rebound from the disappointment caused by a last-lap crash at Atlanta that spoiled a potential top 15 finish.
“It was good to get a good finish after last week’s disappointment,” he said. “We all (including the Penske cars that finished the day 1-2) had great cars. Congrats to the #2 team. They did a great job coming back from that speeding penalty.”
The next stop for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team is the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend.