Ryan Blaney finished 11th at Kentucky Speedway in the
No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM on Friday night. The Brad
Keselowski Racing (BKR) driver had a long day less than a
week after becoming the youngest winner in NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) history at Iowa
During the opening minutes of the first practice, Blaney
got loose in turn two and crashed the primary Cooper
Standard RAM. Crew Chief Doug Randolph and the BKR
team kept their cool and unloaded the backup truck to
prepare for the rest of the day. Blaney qualified in the
16th position to begin the Kentucky 201 on Friday night.
On lap 15, the first yellow flag of the night waved for a
Todd Bodine spin in turn four. Randolph called Blaney into
the pits for a track bar adjustment and fuel. Blaney
restarted the race on lap 20 in the 13th position. The
green flag was then not even out for a complete lap as a
multi-truck incident involving Bodine, Johnny Sauter, and
Timothy George, Jr. brought out the yellow on lap 21. The
team took advantage again for service pitting for four tires, fuel, and a spring rubber in the right rear.
Blaney restarted in 18th position on the lap 32 restart. More yellows continued to fall on laps 33, 42, and 45 with Randolph electing to keep the Cooper Standard RAM on track in favor of position. On lap 54, the track position call paid off as Blaney ended up with the race lead as other trucks pitted in front of the No. 29 machine. Blaney maintained first place on a lap 59 restart, but was passed by Joey Colter on lap 60.
Blaney held the No. 29 Cooper Standard RAM in the second position through a lap 79 caution flag. Randolph called the BKR machine into the pits for a final time for four tires and fuel. The Cooper Standard RAM restarted in the ninth position for the lap 83 restart with 50 laps to go in the race.
Lap 106 brought the caution flag out for the final time for an incident involving Jason White. Blaney lined up in the eighth position on the lap 111 restart. The driver continued to fight a tight condition and wound up falling back to 11th place before the checkered flag fell on lap 134.
"We were tight all race really; started off really tight, and never got it good enough in traffic to move around," said Blaney. "Never got any better really. Clean air was pretty huge. It was a tough start to the day for the Cooper Standard RAM. The guys worked really hard on the back up, and I appreciate their effort. I'm looking forward to getting back with the BKR team in Talladega."
Grant Enfinger will pilot the No. 29 Reese Towpower RAM next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Smith's 350. Blaney has a previous commitment to drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge for Penske Racing in Dover, Delaware. He will then return to the No. 29 Draw-Tite RAM at Talladega Superspeedway, and finish out the remaining races of the NCWTS schedule for BKR. Race coverage for Las Vegas begins at 8:00 P.M. EDT on the SPEED Channel. Radio coverage can be found on MRN and Sirius XM Channel 90 beginning at 7:45 P.M. EDT.