Ford Performance NASCAR: Ryan Blaney Kentucky Media Availability

Ford PR

Ford Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Quaker State 400 Advance (Kentucky Speedway; Sparta, KY)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Page 1


Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford Fusion, came to the infield media center at Kentucky Speedway before Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice to talk about this weekend’s event.


RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 DEX Imaging Ford FusionWILL SIDE DRAFTING BE AN ISSUE AT A PLACE LIKE KENTUCKY WHERE THERE IS A NARROW GROOVE?  “That’s a really good question.  Whenever you go to these big race tracks where you’re going so fast and a lot of air is moving around your car – really every mile-and-a-half and up – side drafting is huge.  If you get to the inside of somebody you can really side draft their left-rear quarter panel and drag them back and just try to get them in position to where you don’t enter the corner side-by-side if you’re the bottom car because they can get you realliy loose.  You kind of want to get them like their nose on your door or a little bit further back if they’re on the outside because then it actually makes you a little bit tighter and you can get in the corner harder and not have a chance at spinning out underneath them.  The deal that happened with me and Larson at Kansas was me trying really hard to side draft and when it’s that curved frontstretch it’s kind of hard to do when you’re trying to chase somebody and your car can get kind of light.  Here, I think you’ll see more of it just because it is a single groove.  Actually, the second groove didn’t look that bad last night in the Truck race, which was pretty good, but you’ll see it a lot here.  That’s really important on every big track that we go to and just trying to get position.  The closer you can get to that car to your outside, to drag them back, that’s huge.”


HOW MUCH DOES  “It moves around a good bit.  If you stay close to them for too long and you kind of get more side-by-side with them, then you try to pull away, that’s almost like being side-by-side with him in the corner.  Your car kind of gets free and you have to be really careful when you kind of turn away from him and that timing, so it does mess your car up, especially when, like I said, the frontstrech is curved like this – this or a tri-oval it’s pretty tough to do.”


YOUR DAD WON THE LOU BLANEY MEMORIAL FOR THE SECOND TIME EARLIER THIS WEEK.  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?  “That was really neat.  I was able to watch the last about 15 laps of it because I was home already and that was really cool.  He led a bunch of it.  He had a really good night.  That was pretty cool.  That was the 10th annual of that Lou Blaney Memorial up at Sharon (Speedway).  He won it back in I want to say 2012 or ’13 and, like you said, he was the first repeat winner of that deal in the sprint car, so that was pretty neat.  It was an All-Star Race, so there were a lot of good cars there.  They’ve been running really good in that deal.  He’s up at Eldora this weekend racing.  He didn’t have a good night last night, but that was really special to him.  It was cool to talk to him about it.  It’s a really special race, obviously, for him remembering his dad, so that was really neat to see him win that.  That was pretty special.”


HOW CLOSE DO YOU FEEL TO BREAKING THROUGH HERE IN TERMS OF GETTING IN THE CLUB OF WINNERS HERE AT KENTUCKY?  “I’ve enjoyed this race track, whether it was before it got repaved or now.  They’re a lot different, the two, and it’s pretty neat that Brad and Kyle have been able to win on both configurations pretty easily.  I feel like our team is pretty close to where it needs to be and I enjoy this place.  I think our mile-and-a-half program has been pretty decent, we just need to take that next step and we’re kind of closing the gap between a few other teams and you know who the teams are.  I feel confident every single weekend.  I think we can go out and have strong runs and if we keep running towards the front, hopefully we can get a win here soon.  Just trying to get that first one of the year is tough, but I have high hopes for this weekend and hopefully we can meet those expectations.”


HOW MUCH DOES THE TRACK BEING CONSISTENT HELP YOU THIS YEAR?  “It helps.  Whenever a track repaves it is always pretty difficult, especially since this was one of the roughest places we go to and now it’s one of the smoothest.  That’s a whole kind of recall of the setup of your race car you have to change everything up and how you drive the race track is way different.  That part takes some time to get used to, but now I think the track is kind of coming into its own.  I saw a pretty decent second groove last night in that Truck race in one and two, and maybe even in three and four as well, so hopefully that gets better as more cars run on it.  Hopefully, that XFINITY race tonight helps that out and then our Cup cars run it in practice and we seem to put a lot of rubber down.  We’ll see, but I think the track is aging well.  That’s kind of tough to do nowadays and I think it’s coming in pretty decent.  Hopefully, we can keep moving that groove up and up and having multiple lanes is always nice.”


YOU SEEM TO BE SAFE IN POINTS.  HOW DO YOU VIEW WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN THESE UPCOMING EVENTS?  “I’m not a big points looker guy.  I just go try to run the best we can and that stuff figures itself out, whether you win or you run well.  We just have to stop having trouble.  The last three weeks have been a bunch of problems for us from breaking at Sonoma to having loose wheels at Chicago and then last week getting in a wreck.  That’s just stuff that can’t happen.  It almost takes the wind out of your sails when stuff like that happens.  When it’s really none of your doing and you get caught up in it, it’s still kind of disappointing to everybody and everybody gets down.  We’re just trying to string together and trying to get back on track, especially before the Playoffs hopefully.  We can’t have anymore trouble, but just run like I know our team can run – run up toward the front and try to bring fast cars every weekend, which we have, it’s just a shame that hasn’t shown up here the last few races.  We’ll just try to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year and having fast cars and just trying to stay out of trouble.”


About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.