HOMESTEAD, FL – Ryan Blaney finished 28th at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM on Friday evening. The Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) driver had a tough ending to the night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season finale.
Blaney qualified in the 16th position on Friday afternoon pacing the 1.5 mile oval in 32.472 seconds or 166.297 M.P.H. to begin the Ford EcoBoost 200.
The Cooper Standard RAM methodically moved through the field in the opening laps with the help of spotter Joey Meier. On lap 35, the yellow flag waved for the first time of the night. Blaney had advanced to the ninth position at the time of the caution. Crew Chief Doug Randolph called Blaney on to pit road for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment. The Cooper Standard pit crew had a lighting fast stop, picking up two positions on pit road. Blaney restarted seventh on the lap 40 restart. Another quick yellow flew on lap 44 for a Bryan Silas crash in turn three. The Cooper Standard RAM declined service and restarted in 10th place on lap 49.
Randolph called Blaney back on to pit road on lap 86 for a green flag pit stop while running in the 11th position. Four tires and fuel was the call, and when the pit stops cycled through, Blaney maintained his position.
On lap 103, the caution flag waved for the third time of the night for a blown engine. The Cooper Standard pit crew was back in action changing four tires and making a wedge adjustment for a tight handling RAM. Blaney restarted in 11th position with 26 laps remaining in the race. The caution waved on lap 124 when Max Gresham crashed in turn three. Randolph called Blaney into the pits for the final time of the 2012 season. Four tires and fuel were added to the Cooper Standard RAM. Blaney restarted in 11th place on the lap 129 restart.
With four laps to go, Kyle Larson made contact with Ty Dillon sending them both crashing in turn three. Larson’s No. 4 truck came back down the race track clipping Blaney’s right rear quarter panel. The contact sent the Cooper Standard RAM into the outside retaining wall ending the race and 2012 NCWTS four laps short.
“That was not the way we wanted to end the season in the Cooper Standard RAM,” said Blaney. “I got the wind knocked out of me during that wreck. We struggled all night with the handling, but were shaping up to have a decent finish there. Any time you get turned like I did, you know it’s going to be bad. That was one of the hardest hits I’ve ever taken. I want to thank Brad Keselowski, Cooper Standard, Draw-Tite, and Reese Towpower for an incredible 2012 season. I’m looking forward to see what next year holds.”
BKR returns to the NCWTS in 2013 with partners Cooper Standard, Draw-Tite, and Reese Towpower all returning. The 2013 season will begin at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, February 22.