Ryan Blaney and the Wood Brothers Racing Team need another strong performance this weekend in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway to maintain or improve on their current seventh-place position and transfer to the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs.
Despite crashing late and finishing 18th in last Sunday’s race at Talladega, Blaney amassed enough stage points to jump from 11th place (five points behind the cutoff) to seventh place (nine points ahead of the cutoff) going into the Round 2 elimination race where only the top eight will transfer.
With a pole win and a fourth-place finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kansas race in May, Blaney and company seem poised to run among the leaders on Sunday and advance to the third round of the Playoffs.
Omnicraft, whose paint scheme the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 ran at Michigan in June, once again will be the primary sponsor at Kansas for the final Round 2 Playoff race.
The first new parts brand offered by Ford Motor Company in 50 years, Omnicraft was launched in January to give Ford and Lincoln dealers and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers access to a complete family of quality and competitively priced parts to sell and to service all makes of vehicles Adding Omnicraft to Ford’s family of parts brands to also cover non-Ford vehicles means an improved customer experience through competitive pricing, quality and convenience.
When fully launched, Omnicraft combined with Motorcraft, will cover up to about 90 percent of the vehicles on the road. It currently provides coverage for many popular repairs including oil filters, brake pads and rotors, coated calipers, loaded struts, starters and alternators, air and cabin air filters, wheel hub assemblies and radiators.
On Kansas Speedway:
“We didn’t get the finish we wanted last week but we did what we had to do in the first two stages and it’s put us in a position to move on if we run well at Kansas, a place that I highly enjoy.”
“I always like going to Kansas. I feel like it’s a track that suits this team well. It’s always been a decent track for me. Kansas really challenges teams and driver skill to run well. It’s the fastest intermediate track we go to and tires don’t fall off.”
“You have to start off these races well, try to run up front and collect those stage points. We’ve done that. We know how to do it. We had a really good run at Kansas earlier this year and hopefully we can go in there and see what we can do.”
BLANEY NASCAR PLAYOFFS STATUS:
Is 7th on the NASCAR Playoffs grid, nine points above the Round 2 cutoff
RYAN BLANEY KANSAS FAST FACTS:
- Won his first career Cup pole at Kansas in May and finished fourth
- Started seventh and finished fifth in 2016 spring race
- Started 17th and finished 14 in 2016 fall race
- Started eighth and finished seventh in 2015 fall race
WOOD BROTHERS KANSAS FAST FACTS:
This will be the team’s 16th start at Kansas
First start was in 2001
Best finish was second in 2004 fall race with driver Ricky Rudd
- Has six top-10 finishes at Kansas
On Kansas Speedway:
“Last week at Talladega we controlled what we could control, collected a lot of stage points and even though we wrecked at the end, we managed to put ourselves above the cutline going into Kansas.”
“We took the pole and would up in fourth at Kansas earlier in the season so I feel like this is a very good race track for us. We should be in contention all day.”
“One key to success at Kansas is qualifying well and starting near the front as track position is big. It’s a very aero-sensitive intermediate track and if you get track position you can generally hold it pretty well.”
WEEKEND SCHEDULE ON NBCSN & NBC Sports App (All times Eastern)
Friday: Oct. 20, 1-2:25 p.m. – Practice, NBCSN
Oct. 20, 6:15 p.m. – Qualifying, NBCSN
Saturday: Oct. 21, 11-11:50 a.m. – Practice, NBC Sports App
Oct. 21, 1:30-2:20 p.m. – Practice, NBCSN
Sunday: Oct. 22, 3 p.m. – Hollywood Casino 400, NBCSN