Blaney eager to better his Dover track record

DOVER, DELAWARE - OCTOBER 05: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 PPG Ford, qualifies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on October 05, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Ryan Blaney enters the Round of 12 beneath the cutoff line in 10th place. After the race at Kansas Speedway in two weeks, the Playoff field will be dwindled to eight drivers.

Blaney has not found much success at Dover International Speedway. In seven starts, Blaney has two top 10s with a best finish of eighth twice and has never led a lap here.

“I feel like we’ve had OK runs here and not anything great,” Blaney said. “So you try to come into these places with a different mindset and try to switch things up.”

With the volatile nature of Talladega Superspeedway lurking next week, he and his Team Penske team understand they’ll need a good run at Dover to avoid a must-win situation going forward.

“You definitely want to start your round off on the right foot, especially with Talladega. You don’t know what can happen there,” Blaney said.

Track position proved critical in the spring race earlier this season. Starting 10th on Sunday, Blaney will have a decent position for the green flag, but passing may prove problematic.

“You’re going so fast here and everyone hugs the bottom,” Blaney said. “It was a little bit difficult to pass in the Spring. Just kind of how it is.”

“I think you’ll see a mixed bag of strategies (Sunday) as far as two tires, things like that, how the stages end and where the cautions fall. You saw a little bit of that in the Spring race and I think you’ll see a little bit of that tomorrow. I think you’ll see more of it (Sunday) with some of the Playoff guys. You’ve got to have big days.”

“Track position’s always been key, but here it’s been a little bit more important than other places.”

Greg Engle