New Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion Driver Ryan Blaney Expects to Contend for Wins in First Season at Wheel of No. 21

  • Ryan Blaney expects to be successful when he gets behind the wheel of the iconic No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing starting at the 2015 Daytona 500 in February.

 

  • “I honestly think we’ll contend for wins,” Blaney said. “I think we’ll be in the hunt at most of them. If we can run 100 percent of the laps, not wreck out of any of them or have any issues, I know we’ll be racking up some really good finishes. You’ll definitely see us up front and contending for wins.”

 

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ryan Blaney expects to be successful when he gets behind the wheel of the iconic No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing starting at the 2015 Daytona 500 in February.

Why not? He’s been a winner in every other racing series in which he’s ever competed, including being part of Team Penske’s last two Nationwide (now XFINITY) Series Owner’s Championships.

“I hope so,” Blaney said when asked if he thinks his past success will carry over into his first regular Sprint Cup ride. “In my first Cup start for Team Penske at Kansas last year, I was worried about not wrecking and I wasn’t very aggressive. I look back and I regret that. I’m not going to be too conservative this year.”

That doesn’t mean he plans to be too aggressive in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 either. Blaney said he understands the appropriate balance between aggressive racing and driving smart races. “That’s what the Cup races are all about,” he said with a wisdom that belies his 20 years and reflects more than a decade of competitive driving experience. “The races are so long you have to know when to push the car and when to conserve. I think I’ll continue to develop that as I run more 500-mile and 600-mile races. The approach is to go out and do the best you can and run all the laps, get as much experience as you can. If you do that you’re going to run well, too.”

Blaney, son of Sprint Cup veteran Dave Blaney, has run well since he started racing quarter midgets at age 8, winning his first race at age 9. He has competed in and been successful in Bandolero cars, Legend cars, late model stock cars and the ARCA Racing Series before debuting in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West. In 2012, Blaney drove six races (recording two top 10s) in the Nationwide series before finishing the year with Team Penske, recording five top-10 finishes (including 2nd at Texas Motor Speedway) in seven starts. Also in September of that year, he won his first Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway and was the youngest winner in the series at the time at 18 years, 8 months and 15 days.

In the last two Nationwide campaigns for Team Penske, he posted a win in 2013, and in 2014 a win, 10 Top 5s, 13 Top 10s and 207 laps led in 14 starts in the No. 12 Ford Mustang. Driving for Brad Keselowski Racing in the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Blaney finished No. 2 in the championship driving the No. 29 Ford F-150. He posted a win, 12 Top 5s and 17 Top 10s in 22 CWTS starts.

En route to last season’s Nationwide owner’s title, Blaney learned important lessons in patience, which will benefit him and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane teammates in 2015.

“We had a couple races last season in the Nationwide car where we struggled a little bit in practice,” Blaney recalls. “Chicago was a really good example of that. We weren’t very good in practice and I didn’t think we would be that good for the race. My crew chief and I talked about it throughout the race and he made some great changes and we had a shot to win until we got a little bit of damage at the end.

“That’s what the driver and crew chief have to do if you’re going to be successful,” he continued. “If the weekend starts off bad you have to keep working on it. I’m getting better and better at telling him what I need. You get better at that with time.”

All of this caught the attention of Eddie and Len Wood of Wood Brothers Racing who pursued Blaney’s services once Trevor Bayne announced that he would drive the No. 6 full time in the Sprint Cup Series for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2015.

Blaney recognizes that he’s following in the footsteps of the many great Wood Brothers drivers of the past, including Curtis Turner, Cale Yarborough, A.J. Foyt, David Pearson, Bill Elliott and Dale Jarrett just to name a few.

“Just knowing the history of that car,” Blaney said. “It’s been special for me to get to know everyone over there and hear their stories. Being able to drive such an iconic race car is special. I came from a racing family so the family and the heritage of that team is pretty neat. It relates to my family, too. It’s also great getting to know everyone from Motorcraft and knowing the commitment they put into the team.”

Blaney got a preview of working with the Wood Brothers last August in Michigan. After it was announced that he would replace Bayne, he subbed for him in practice and qualifying while Bayne was competing in the Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio.

“It was really cool to be able to work with those guys,” Blaney recalled. “Running at Michigan in Ford’s back yard, that was really cool to be a part of. It was great to have that experience at Michigan. That will give us just that much more experience when we go back there this season.”

Blaney is reluctant to predict how he’ll do in his first year of regular Cup competition and equally reluctant to set goals for himself and the team going into the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. He is, however, confident in his abilities and that of his new team.

“It’s hard to set expectations and goals,” he stated. “You just want to go out and do the best you can. I honestly think we’ll contend for wins. I think we’ll be in the hunt at most of them. If we can run 100 percent of the laps, not wreck out of any of them or have any issues, I know we’ll be racking up some really good finishes. You’ll definitely see us up front and contending for wins.”

 

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About Motorcraft

Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.

 

 

 

About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers

Quick Lane® provides automotive quick services for all makes and models. Quick Lane’s nationwide network of more than 700 facilities, each providing the convenience of an aftermarket company (no appointment necessary, service while you wait, evening and weekend hours, competitive prices) with the confidence of a major automotive manufacturer (quality parts, factory-trained, technicians). Quick Lane® is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit www.quicklane.com

 

 

Wood Brothers Racing

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood.  Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop.  The team currently runs the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney in the famous number 21 racecar.

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Wood Brothers Racing Museum Feature – RC Car Display

Today’s Wood Brothers Racing Museum feature is on Leonard Wood’s handbuilt remote control cars. Remote Control cars are some of Leonard’s favorite things to build his spare time. Leonard has handmade several RC cars for the Wood Brothers and they are on display at the Wood Brothers Racing museum in Stuart, Va. These are not just any RC car, these bad boys can run up to 70 MPH.

This display also features a couple of cars that Leonard built in the late 1940s using a block of wood and a pocket knife! All the cars are shown in the video below, where Len goes into more detail about each of the handbuilt cars.


 

Wood Brothers Museum Feature – NASCAR Hall of Fame

We are back! Sorry for the lack in post the last couple of weeks. Being a full time mom, employee and wife keeps me busy and I chose to sit back and enjoy the time with my husband, daughter and family the last few weeks. Since the off season, my husband and I took a nice “Parents Only” vacation and spent a lot of time in Virginia with my family. I’ll save the details for another post but just wanted to apologize for my lack of weekly blog post.

Today, I wanted to do another feature on the Wood Brothers Racing Museum in Stuart, VA. When Leonard and Glen Wood were inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame each one had an exhibit in the Hall of Honor. These exhibits had artifacts that helped tell the story about Leonard and Glen Wood.  The artifacts remained at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for a year and then they were given back to the Wood Brothers when the next inductees were honored. Len and Eddie designed a display at the Wood Brothers museum for these artifacts. They wanted to keep these artifacts separate because it is such an honor for them to be displayed at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Check out the video below to see the Hall of Fame display at the Wood Brothers Racing museum in Stuart, VA.


The Ultimate Battle for The 2014 Trophy

What are your thoughts on the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship??!! In my opinion, the chase was beyond EPIC! NASCAR honestly could not have had a more exciting finish. Who in the world would have thought that all four drivers would have been battling all day for the number 1 spot? Literally, at some point during the race, each of the four drivers was leading the points. I know this because my husband is a rear tire changer for the #11 and was in the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. A good word to describe my emotions on Sunday would be a ROLLERCOASTER.

In past years, there are normally two drivers who are racing for the championship at Homestead and sometimes it has been only one. This year there were 4 teams that had equal chance to clinch the chase at the season finale race. That means one team would go home with one of the most prestigious awards one could ever receive in their career and three teams would go home with disappointment. Unfortunately, I experienced the latter, which was quite the emotional rollercoaster.

I was obviously trying to pull for the 22 to win the championship but my heart was with the 11 because I wanted my husband to experience winning a NASCAR championship. The week leading up to the race at Homestead was a week of mixed emotions, we did not want to get our hopes up, we did not want to act like Denny could win the championship for fear you would “Jinx” the team (don’t lie, we all get that feeling) but yet deep down all you could think about was making that trip to Vegas as a part of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Team.

I kept telling my husband to treat this race like any other, go out there and dominate like always. I realize that where I watched the race had ZERO impact on the results but I guess it is the Wood in me that just felt a little superstitious. Denny started to pull ahead while I was in the 21 hauler, so I decided to stay put. Then we had a problem with our car and I had to move. I headed out to pit road and decided to stay away from the 11 pit box. I don’t know why but I have always been told to stay put and don’t head to the pit box until the race is complete otherwise you would “jinx” the finish. I know for a fact that the people around me on pit road had to think I was losing my mind. Those last few laps were INTENSE. Not to mention I was pulling for two teams at the same time, the 22 and 11. One second, Denny was winning the championship, the next second he was not, one second the 22 was in lead, the next second they were having problems. I did not have the 11 team on my race scanner so I listened to MRN call the race and whew those boys can make you a nervous wreck on a good day.  I paced back and forth, screamed at the Sprint Vision screen a few times, closed my eyes and actually just sat down on the pavement at one point. In the end, my husband and his team would be one of those teams that had to leave the track with disappointment.

In summary, I LOVE the new chase. As a fan of the sport, I want close battles and that is exactly what the new chase delivered. In my opinion, if you are still a huge hater of the new chase then it is time for you to wrap it up and follow a different sport. There could be small changes made to make the chase better or it would have been better if your favorite driver was in the chase. Bottom line, you cannot beat what you witnessed on Sunday.

I stopped in with Leonard Wood to get his view on chamionship battles. Check out the video below.


~ Jordan