In thrilling finish, Ryan Blaney wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Ryan Blaney beats German Quiroga to the finish line Saturday at Canadian Motorsports Park. (NASCAR)
Ryan Blaney beats German Quiroga to the finish line Saturday at Canadian Motorsports Park. (NASCAR)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, take the checkered flag during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Getty Images)

In a dramatic finish, Ryan Blaney drag-raced German Quiroga off the last corner at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to the start-finish line to win Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250.

The two drivers duked it out for the win following the final restart, but a pass for the lead by Quiroga in Turn 8 on the final lap would be short lived, as Blaney set up his crucial move exiting the final turn allowing Blaney to score his third career victory by 0.049 secs.

“That was a ton of fun racing with German,” said Blaney. “We raced really, really hard and really clean and that’s how racing should be. We had a problem last week (at Bristol) and just fate would have us racing each other for the win this week. That’s awesome. That’s what racing needs to be, it was so fun racing with him and battling it out with him.”

Blaney’s teammate Alex Tagliani led the field from the pole in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut and held the point until he strategically made a green flag pit stop on Lap 8 with Gray Gaulding inheriting the lead. The NASCAR Next driver would control the field for five laps before he headed to pit road and handed the lead to Canadian Andrew Ranger.

When Ranger pitted on Lap 16, Blaney assumed command on Lap 17. Utilizing a one-stop strategy, he stayed out until Lap 29, when Quiroga shuffled to the top spot.

With the lead exchanging between Quiroga, Cole Custer and Johnny Sauter, crew chief Chad Kendrick’s early-race pit stop call would prove to be beneficial for Blaney, as he climbed from outside the top 10 to reclaim the lead from Sauter on Lap 44.

Blaney’s healthy lead over Quiroga would be diminished when the first full-course caution would wave on Lap 48 for the No. 8 of John Hunter Nemechek, who lost an engine in Turn 1. Under the yellow, the leaders elected to stay out, setting up for a restart twelve laps from the finish.

Quiroga couldn’t make the pass on Blaney on the restart, but he would get another chance when the second and final caution of the day waved on Lap 55 for Tagliani, who stalled on the track in Turn 5.

On the final restart, Blaney got a strong jump on the field and was able to clear Quiroga, but the Mexico City, Mexico native reeled him back in over the last eight laps before making his move in the Esses.

Coming out of Turn 10, Blaney made the crossover move to win his first race of the season. Quiroga matched his career-best finish in 42 starts.

“We tried hard, we came in second. I’m going to keep on trying,” said Quiroga.  We were really, really fast on long runs. Everyone at the shop worked really hard to build a road course truck and that’s how we arrived. I think we were on the right path, just strategy and how things played out, Blaney was in front of us.  I tried really hard to pass him, tried to make him make a mistake, he didn’t. I passed him in Turn 8, and Turn 9, coming off he got a really good run off the corner and beat us.”

Erik Jones was third followed by Gaulding and Ranger to close out the top five. Matt Crafton, Brennan Newberry, Johnny Sauter, Cole Custer and Timothy Peters comprised the top-10.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – Chevrolet Silverado 250

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Sunday, August 31, 2014

1. (14) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 64, $64295.

2. (4) German Quiroga, Toyota, 64, $43585.

3. (3) Erik Jones, Toyota, 64, $28176.

4. (2) Gray Gaulding #, Chevrolet, 64, $21525.

5. (6) Andrew Ranger, RAM, 64, $17300.

6. (8) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 64, $18025.

7. (13) Brennan Newberry, Chevrolet, 64, $16075.

8. (11) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 64, $15575.

9. (5) Cole Custer, Chevrolet, 64, $14675.

10. (9) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 64, $15850.

11. (10) Cameron Hayley, Chevrolet, 64, $14475.

12. (7) Darrell Wallace Jr., Toyota, 64, $14300.

13. (15) Joey Coulter, Chevrolet, 64, $14200.

14. (20) Mason Mingus #, Toyota, 64, $15100.

15. (12) Ben Kennedy #, Chevrolet, 64, $14525.

16. (1) Alex Tagliani(i), Ford, 63, $16300.

17. (17) Jeb Burton, Toyota, 63, $13700.

18. (19) Tyler Young #, Chevrolet, 63, $13600.

19. (18) Bryan Silas, Chevrolet, 63, $13500.

20. (21) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Chevrolet, 63, $12775.

21. (22) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 62, $12050.

22. (26) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 58, $10950.

23. (27) Jennifer Jo Cobb, RAM, 54, $10750.

24. (23) Scott Stenzel, Chevrolet, 45, $10650.

25. (16) John H. Nemechek, Toyota, Transmission, 26, $10750.

26. (25) Justin Jennings, Chevrolet, Transmission, 15, $10550.

27. (24) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, Ignition, 8, $10500.

28. (28) Caleb Roark, RAM, Clutch, 0, $10450.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  92.514 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 42 Mins, 04 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.049 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  2 for 6 laps.

Lead Changes:  8 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Tagliani(i) 1-7; G. Gaulding # 8-12; A. Ranger 13-16; R. Blaney 17-29; G. Quiroga 30-32; C. Custer 33-34; G. Quiroga 35-39; J. Sauter 40-43; R. Blaney 44-64.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  R. Blaney 2 times for 34 laps; G. Quiroga 2 times for 8 laps; A. Tagliani(i) 1 time for 7 laps; G. Gaulding # 1 time for 5 laps; A. Ranger 1 time for 4 laps; J. Sauter 1 time for 4 laps; C. Custer 1 time for 2 laps.

Top 10 in Points: J. Sauter – 524; M. Crafton – 517; R. Blaney – 511; D. Wallace Jr. – 486; G. Quiroga – 476; R. Hornaday Jr. – 460; J. Coulter – 456; T. Peters – 448; B. Kennedy # – 441; J. Burton – 420.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 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.