Ryan Blaney Has Successful First Outing in Famed Wood Brothers Ford

SM_M240881Two three-generation racing families officially went to work together on Friday at Michigan International Speedway as Ryan Blaney took his first laps in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.

Blaney, the son of veteran NASCAR and sprint car racer Dave Blaney, nephew of sprint car standout Dale Blaney, and grandson of the late short track legend Lou Blaney, drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as a substitute for Trevor Bayne, who was at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where his Nationwide Series schedule conflicted with Sprint Cup practice and qualifying.

Blaney, who will become the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s regular driver next season, also will drive the No. 21 in Saturday’s practice session before turning it over to Bayne for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

Blaney was 27th in practice with a best lap of 199.756 miles per hour and then qualified 28th with a lap at 202.327 mph. Nevertheless, Bayne will have to start from the rear on Sunday because of the driver change.

“It was a good day of work with everyone here at the Wood Brothers team,” Blaney said. “We didn’t get the qualifying lap in that I wanted to. I am excited for tomorrow to be able to get some race runs in and hopefully get it pretty good for Trevor for Sunday.”

Part of Blaney’s challenge was trying to adapt to the more powerful Cup cars while still practicing in his Ford F-150 in the Camping World Truck Series, where he’s the current points leader.

“It is good to get out here and get my first laps on Michigan in a Cup car,” he said. “It is a whole lot different than those trucks over there I will tell you that. It is all about learning and helping these guys out as much as I can. I am just happy to be here.”

Eddie Wood, who co-owns the Motorcraft team founded by his father Glen Wood and one that now includes his brother Len and sister Kim, as well as third-generation members Jon, Jordan and Keven, said he was impressed with Blaney’s work on Friday.

“He did a great job for his first time here in a Sprint Cup car,” Wood said. “He gave the crew great feedback, and I was very impressed with his calm, focused approach to the whole day.”

The Pure Michigan 400 is set to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

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Wood Brothers Racing Forms Alliance with Team Penske; Selects Ryan Blaney to Drive Famous No. 21 Car in

RyanBlaney02AHARRISBURG, N.C., Aug. 14, 2014 – Wood Brothers Racing announces today that it has formed a technical alliance with Team Penske and will race a partial-season schedule in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with up-and-coming driver Ryan Blaney.

Blaney, who has raced as a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will compete in at least 12 races for Wood Brothers Racing next season in the iconic No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as he continues his rapid NASCAR development.

“Wood Brothers Racing is excited to align with Roger Penske and his team and we couldn’t be more pleased to put Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford Fusion,” said Eddie and Len Wood, co-owners of Wood Brothers Racing, in a joint statement. “Ryan is a third-generation racer and one of the best young drivers out there. He has been a winner in many different kinds of cars since he started racing at a very young age and we fully expect that to continue while he is with us.”

Blaney will also practice and qualify the No. 21 this weekend at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway while current Wood Brothers driver Trevor Bayne competes in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bayne will return in time to start the Sprint Cup race at the back of the field.

Blaney, the current points leader in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driving the No. 29 Ford F-150 for Brad Keselowski Racing, said, “I want to thank Wood Brothers Racing, Team Penske, Ford Racing and everyone at Motorcraft and Quick Lane for the opportunity to race next season in the Sprint Cup Series. To get a chance to race at the top level of NASCAR in such a historic car as the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion is a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to 2015.”

Blaney is scheduled to make his official debut for Wood Brothers Racing in the 2015 Daytona 500. He will race for the team in events at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others.

He joins an impressive list of drivers who have driven for the Wood Brothers since 1950, including team founder Glen Wood, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, Bill Elliott and Bayne who won the Daytona 500 with the Wood Brothers in 2011. That victory gave the team the unmatched distinction of scoring at least one win in every decade for the last seven decades.

2014 NASCAR Texas“We’re confident that putting a promising driver like Ryan Blaney behind the wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, and joining forces on the technical side with Team Penske, will result in success on and off the track,” said Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division, Wood Brothers Racing’s primary sponsor. “Ryan is a fine young man, and he will represent our Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands well.”

In addition to driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers, Blaney will drive a Team Penske Mustang in the 2015 Nationwide Series.

Blaney, son of Sprint Cup driver Dave Blaney, started his racing career in quarter midgets and won his first race at the age of 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 Nationwide 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.

Blaney won his first Nationwide Series race last season at Kentucky Speedway leading 96 of 200 laps.

 

 

 

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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 Trevor Bayne in the famous number 21 racecars

About Team Penske
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced more than 390 major race wins, over 450 pole positions and 25 National Championships. The team has also earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories in its storied history. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.

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

 

 

Flat Tire Ends Promising Brickyard Run For Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

Trevor Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion spent most of their pre-race practice time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway preparing their car for qualifying, which meant sacrificing time normally spent preparing for the Brickyard 400.

photo (7)Still, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew was able to look over data from their fellow Ford teams and come up with a set-up that allowed Bayne to run in the top 20 for much of the race. But that all came to an unexpected end when a right-rear tire went flat with 63 of 160 laps to go. Bayne avoided hard contact with the outside wall but slammed into the guardrail inside, damaging his car too much to continue. He was 43rd in the final rundown.

“I had a right-rear tire go down getting into turn three,” Bayne said. “I thought I felt it about a half-a-lap sooner, but just didn’t have time to check it out.

“The spotters are on the other side of the race track, so they can’t tell what’s going on. It let go getting into turn three, and I had it saved off the fence and then the right-rear tire cut the brake line so I couldn’t get it stopped by the time I hit the inside guardrail.”

Bayne said the setback was especially disappointing because the team was poised for a respectable finish.

“We had a decent car, decent enough that when we got track position we could hold on to it,” he said. “We were running top 20 and had a chance to do even better than that.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood pointed out that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team did a great job improving the car with each pit stop, making the eventual outcome even more of a let-down.

“They were making the car better every pit stop,” Wood said. “It was better on the long runs than a lot of people.”

Bayne said it seems like luck would have it that misfortunes on the track tend to arise more often on days when the car is running strong.

“It stinks to end our day like this with a brand-new car, so I feel bad for my guys here,” he said. “You never have days like this when you’re running 35th; it’s always when you have a decent car.”

“I just feel bad about it, and we’ll see what we can do next time.”

The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team returns to the track in three weeks for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Rain Stays Away and Bayne Qualifies 20th at the Brickyard

photo (6)There was relief all around the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team Saturday afternoon when the green flag waved to start knockout qualifying for Sunday’s John Wayne Walding 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With no guaranteed starting spot to fall back on if rain washed out qualifying, Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team needed a chance to qualify their way into the starting field for one of NASCAR’s most prestigious races. Rain was a possibility as Saturday morning’s final practice was delayed by a brief but heavy line of storms.

When the green flag did fly on Saturday, Bayne and the team did not disappoint. He was 12th fastest in the first of three qualifying sessions with a lap at 185.854 miles per hour, which most importantly locked him into the starting field but also allowed him to advance to the second qualifying round.

In the second session he ran a lap at 184.869 mph, which puts him 20th in the line-up for Sunday’s 400-mile race.

“We knew that if it didn’t rain and we got to qualify that our car was reasonably fast,” team co-owner Len Wood said. “Trevor did a really good job.”
Wood said the team used a lot of its resources, both in practice and in the first round of qualifying, to make sure the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion was in the starting field at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It’s our second-biggest race of the year, and the Wood Brothers have a lot of history here,” he said. “We couldn’t focus as much on race practice because of needing to get in the race.”

Because of the emphasis on perfecting a qualifying set-up, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will rely on their Ford teammates, especially those at Roush Fenway Racing, to prepare their Fusion for race day.

“We’ll pool the resources and see where we stack up,” Wood said.

The race commonly referred to as the Brickyard 400 is set to get started just after 1 p.m. eastern time with TV coverage on ESPN.