AVONDALE, AZ – Ryan Blaney finished fifth at Phoenix International Raceway in the No. 29 Draw-Tite RAM on Friday evening. The Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) driver had a solid night in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Phoenix debut.
Blaney qualified in the second position on Friday afternoon pacing the one mile oval in 26.793 seconds or 134.363 M.P.H. to begin the Lucas Oil 150.
Blaney had maintained the second position in the Draw-Tite RAM during the first run of the race. On lap 36, the caution waved for the first of several times. Chief Doug Randolph called Blaney on to pit road for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment for tight handling. Blaney restarted in fifth place with the first truck with four fresh tires.
The middle section of the race saw multiple yellow flags fall on laps 44, 48, and 53 with the Draw-Tite RAM declining service in favor of track position. The yellow flag fell for the fifth time of the night when Nelson Piquet clipped Johnny Sauter, which ended up collecting Ron Hornaday, Jr. as well.
Blaney restarted in the third position for the lap 72 restart. On lap 79, Cale Gale spun off of turn four bringing out another yellow. Randolph called the Draw-Tite RAM into the pits for a fuel only stop. The No. 29 BKR RAM restarted in ninth place. On lap 102, race leader Ryan Truex spun a truck going a lap down, and Blaney made contact with the spinning driver. Blaney pitted for four tires and fuel, and the team surveyed the damaged nose.
Lap 110 brought out the red flag for clean up of an incident in turn one. Blaney was running in the seventh position at the time of the red. As the race resumed, the Draw-Tite RAM continued to move up the leaderboard in the closing laps. Blaney finished the race in the fifth position for yet another outstanding run by the rookie driver.
“We had a really fast Draw-Tite RAM tonight,” said Blaney. “”The hole in the nose hurt us a bit, but this BKR team never gave up, and I appreciate their effort. I’m really looking forward to Homestead next weekend. I’m not ready for this season to be over!”
Cooper Standard returns as the primary sponsor of the No. 29 BKR RAM on Friday night, November 16th, at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Blaney once again behind the wheel. Race coverage for the Ford EcoBoost 200 begins at 7:30 P.M. EST on SPEED Channel. Radio coverage can be found on MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 beginning at 7:45 P.M. EST.