NASCAR.com's Costner Merrifield recaps an exciting battle between Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney as Jones takes the checkered flag and his second win of the weekend in the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Ryan Blaney talks about how his second place finish was his fault because of the wreck during qualifying that caused his team to go to a backup car in the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Company will sponsor Ryan Blaney , No. 21 car at Kentucky and Darlington Ryan Blaney and his No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford will have a new sponsor on the car for this weekend at Kentucky Speedway in the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM). Snap-on Tools will also sponsor the car in the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 6, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Check out the paint scheme. Finishing the @Snapon_Tools @FordPerformance Fusions to go to @KySpeedway pic.twitter.com/3UDb17HEsR — Wood Brothers Racing (@woodbrothers21) July 7, 2015 "It's a real privilege to be representing a company like Snap-on that has such a rich heritage of quality and craftsmanship," team co-owner Eddie Wood said in a release provided by the team. Blaney's six starts this season so far for Wood Brothers have carried the sponsorship of Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center. The 21-year-old's best finish this season came at Talladega Superspeedway in May -- he finished fourth. Blaney and the No. 21 car did not make the 43-car field for last Sunday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway with qualifying rained out and the field set by the NASCAR rule book, which meant by the speeds of the opening practice as well as based on the number of race attempts each team has made. It was the first time since 2008 that the Wood Brothers' No. 21 car did not qualify for a race in which it was entered.
BKR driver sets track record, will share front row with Erik Jones RELATED: Qualifying results Ryan Blaney landed the Keystone Light Pole Award in Friday afternoon qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover International Speedway . Blaney , driving the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Ford, clocked a track-record lap of 158.465 mph to secure the No. 1 starting spot in Friday's Lucas Oil 200 (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The pole position was the fifth of his truck series career, coming in his first appearance in the series in 2015. Erik Jones , a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, just missed out on his fourth career pole in the series, claiming the second starting spot after a lap of 157.985 mph in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Toyota. Series points leader and two-time defending champion Matt Crafton was fastest in the opening 20-minute round of qualifying, but settled for the third starting spot in the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Toyota. Tyler Reddick was fourth-fastest in another Keselowski-owned truck, with rookie Daniel Suarez -- a KBM teammate to Jones -- completing the top five. NASCAR Next driver Jesse Little, 18, qualified ninth for his national series debut. Brandon Jones caused the only stoppage in the three-round knockout style qualifying format, looping his GMS Racing No. 33 Chevrolet in the final minute of Round 3. Jones' prolonged slide through Turn 2 ended with slight contact with the truck's nose against the inside wall. Jones settled for the 12th starting spot after failing to complete a lap in the five-minute round. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Brian Scott and Jamie Dick get the worst of a multi-car crash in Turn 2 after Scott and Ryan Blaney initially collide entering Turn 1.
Driver focused on current job, says 'the future will work itself out' NEWTON, Iowa -- Some way or another, it seems inevitable that Ryan Blaney , currently running part-time schedules in both the Sprint Cup Series (for Wood Brothers Racing ) and XFINITY Series (for Team Penske ) is bound for a full-time Cup ride in 2016. With Roger Penske only fielding two full-time Cup entries for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano in 2015, he loaned his developmental talent to the fellow Ford organization for roughly 18 starts to get his feet wet while future plans for the son of long-time Cup driver Dave Blaney get sorted out. As of Sunday, there have been no conversations about adding a third Cup team for Penske next season. "There hasn't (been any talk about a third Penske team)," Blaney said after wheeling the No. 22 to a fifth-place finish in the 3M 250 XFINITY race at Iowa Speedway . "We're working hard at doing what we can for the future, and that's with whatever team, you know? Our main focus is trying to finish out this year strong with the Wood Brothers." Talks about Blaney's future have intensified after the 21-year-old started third and finished fourth at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this month. An Associated Press report was published on Saturday in which Penske also confirmed that his organization isn't currently interested in expanding to three cars, but that a full season with Blaney in the No. 21 Fusion is possible, provided that enough funding is secured. "I'd hope there can be an extension … we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske told the AP. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours … we've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." In the meantime, Blaney knows he can only control what happens on the race track, and his focus is on making the most of his time behind the respective wheels of both the Nos. 21 and 22. "We're excited to go to the (Coca-Cola) 600 next week. We're really pumped about that," Blaney said. "After our good run at Talladega and we tested at Charlotte and I thought it went really well; just really excited to get back there and we're always working to get towards the future. We can definitely have wishful thinking. "We really just focus on here and now," said Blaney . "I always say 'You do your job here in the present and the stuff for the future will work itself out.'" FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Technical alliance formed with Team Penske RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Ryan Blaney will fill in for Trevor Bayne in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford Friday and Saturday at Michigan International Speedway as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams begin preparations for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. Next season, Blaney will replace Bayne on a more permanent basis. Blaney , 20, has been named driver for the legendary team beginning in 2015, and will compete in at least 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. Bayne will move into a full-time role in Sprint Cup with Roush Fenway Racing next season. This weekend, he will be at Mid-Ohio to compete in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200, creating the opening for Blaney to practice and qualify the Sprint Cup car for the Wood Brothers. The opportunity to drive the familiar red and white No. 21 Ford, which has carried some of the sport's most legendary figures to victory lane is "unbelievable," Blaney said. "It's really a dream come true so I couldn't be happier. "I'm ready to finish out this 2014 season very strong, try to go after this Truck championship and I'm really excited and looking forward to '15. I think it'll be a great year for us." Blaney currently competes in the Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing. He is the series' points leader after 11 of this season's 22 events with a series' best seven top-five finishes. He has two career wins. Eddie Wood said the search for Bayne's replacement began as soon as Bayne announced his plans to move up to Cup full-time with RFR. "Of course, that left us without a driver," Wood said. "As the summer went on the name that kept popping up was Ryan Blaney and it just kept coming up over and over and over again, so we went in that direction and fortunately we put that deal together. "We've had Trevor for the last four years and had that one great big win at Daytona (in 2011). That was almost a life-changing event for us as well as Trevor. I hope that we can repeat some of that success with Ryan . "He's the next big deal, I think, and we're real excited to have him. We've got a lot of pictures on our wall up in Virginia in the museum and we'd sure love to put him up there as a winner." Wood said for now the team's limited schedule likely would remain unchanged for next season, with the team competing in at least 12 Sprint Cup events. Motorcraft/Quick Lane will return as primary sponsor for 2015. Additional funding could mean an expanded schedule. "We're always chasing other dollars to run more races and we're certainly going to be in a position to do that," Wood said. In addition to the driver move, officials also announced the formation of a technical alliance with Team Penske , which fields Ford teams in the Sprint Cup Series for drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano . Since 2012, Blaney has made several starts for Team Penske in the Nationwide Series , and made his Sprint Cup debut earlier this year with the organization, finishing 27th at Kansas. He is scheduled to make one more Sprint Cup start with the team this year, at Talladega. The alliance "is something that's foreign to us to be honest," said Team Penske president Tim Cindric, "because it's not something we've done in the past. "We've been approached in different ways and … some of that has to do with how well you run and how well you don't run. When you're running up front, everybody wants to work with you and when you're not, then you don't get as many calls. But our answer has usually been the same. Our answer has usually been, ‘We've got enough to focus on at our place.'" Working closely with the Wood Brothers made sense "for many reasons," he said. "We're certainly focused on not only ensuring that Ryan has the tools to be successful and continues his career, but ensuring that the Wood Brothers have everything that we have." In addition to his Sprint Cup duties, Blaney will likely continue to share seat time in the No. 22 Ford fielded by Team Penske in the Nationwide Series next season. "I'd like to do as much racing as possible next year and that stuff will come later on down the road," Blaney said. "We're just excited to announce the stuff today. … I'd like to race as much as possible but we're focused on finishing out this year strong and I'm really excited about the Wood Brothers deal next year and I'm sure we'll figure all that stuff out later." Wood Brothers Racing is one of the longest tenured groups competing in NASCAR's premier series. Founded by Glen Wood when NASCAR was just beginning to take root in the early 1950s, the team has won 98 races and has always been affiliated with Ford Motor Company. Glen and younger brother Leonard Wood, who served as crew chief, are members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Glen's children, Eddie, Len and Kim, run the organization today. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Truck Series driver has no problem switching seats Ryan Blaney has made a habit of deftly bouncing from ride to ride in all three NASCAR national series this season. The cross-training has not only given the 20-year-old plenty of time behind the wheel, it's made him a more versatile driver as he takes the next step in his racing career. Blaney , fresh from a third-place finish last weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series behind Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick at Kansas Speedway , has much more criss-crossing on tap for the closing stages of 2014. He'll return to his full-time gig driving in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Oct. 18 at Talladega Superspeedway , where he'll also attempt to make his second career Sprint Cup start the following day. But first things first: Blaney has another start scheduled on the Nationwide side for Team Penske at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. "I'm really excited for Charlotte," Blaney said last weekend in Kansas. "I've got Greg Erwin crew-chiefing me, and I think we're pretty close to how we were at Kentucky, and we had a pretty good run there with Greg. I really like Charlotte and it's always been a fun race track for me. Looking forward to running three out of the last four Nationwide events." Blaney has two Nationwide races remaining (Charlotte, Texas) in the Erwin-led No. 12 Penske Ford and one left (Phoenix) with Jeremy Bullins atop the pit box for the No. 22 Mustang. Bullins, who oversaw Blaney's Sprint Cup debut in May at Kansas, will again be calling the shots for the youngster's return at Talladega. While Blaney's Nationwide car number will vary the next three weeks, the team's preparation won't change. "The races this year that we've run the 12 (Nationwide) program, we're trying to mirror what we're doing with the 22, so we'll be in constant contact with them and make sure that's as good an effort as it can be," Bullins said. "Then we're all excited to go with him to Talladega here in a couple weeks; that's going to be a lot of fun." Blaney will embark on heavier Sprint Cup duty next season running a part-time schedule in the Wood Brothers' famed No. 21 Ford team, which will share a technical alliance with Team Penske beginning in 2015. He plans to continue driving duties for Penske in Nationwide competition, where he's recorded top-10 finishes in all but one of his 11 starts this season. While Blaney has one victory in each the Nationwide and Truck series this year, he's been on the cusp of several more. In trucks, he also possesses two runner-up finishes and ranks third in standings this season, and has been no worse than fourth his last four times out in the Nationwide tour. "We've been close," Blaney said. "We just haven't been able to quite get to Victory Lane these last handful of races." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Young driver hopes to continue success with crew chief Jeremy Bullins Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge At the venerable age of 21, Ryan Blaney already has a keen sense of history as he makes the next step of his career. Perhaps some of it comes from the rich racing pedigree of his family, with his father, Dave, and uncle Dale qualifying as highly decorated sprint-car drivers. But some influence surely seeped in after the young driver set foot in the Wood Brothers' racing museum in Stuart, Virginia. Blaney is bracing for his first major foray into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season, contesting an 18-race schedule for a team celebrating its 65th year in the business. After touring the shop that's made the Woods part of the fabric of the stock-car racing, Blaney had an even better sense of what it means to field the team's famed No. 21. "I've admired them ever since I was a little kid. How could you not admire them?" Blaney said during last month's Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "Just looking back at their history and their family tradition of racing, with me coming from some family, too, it's really cool that everyone has really gotten along so far and we can talk about racing. That's all we want to do is race and win. "Just being part of a great organization that's been around for 65 years -- for one, that speaks a lot to them that they've stuck around for 65 years. Just to be a part of that history is amazing." The team's next chapter involves a new driver who already has five victories in NASCAR's other two national series, but also a reunion of sorts for Jeremy Bullins, who will work with Blaney from atop the pit box. Bullins spent four years (1999-2002) in various roles with the Wood Brothers, including race engineer. But he'll also be reunited as a crew chief for Blaney , continuing a partnership that produced two victories in the last two seasons in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Blaney's accomplishments are part of Bullins' impressive record with Team Penske's No. 22 Ford the last three seasons. Juggling a widely varied roster of part-time drivers, Bullins helped guide the team to 21 wins in that stretch and championships the last two seasons in the owners' standings. "The cool thing about what we did the last few years is, when you have the opportunity to work with multiple drivers like that, you learn a lot about the communications side of things, listening to guys explain things," Bullins said. "I hope that's made me better as a crew chief so that the time that Ryan and I spend together, I'll know what to expect. I don't see it as anything but a positive." Blaney said the natural bond between the two comes from their development in the Team Penske mold. That bond becomes richer this season with the advent of a technical alliance between the Wood Brothers and the Penske operation, an agreement that will include pit-crew support on race days. With Blaney and Bullins sticking together, both sides stand to benefit. "Those two guys -- Ryan and Jeremy -- already having time together, that saves you a year," said Eddie Wood, the No. 21 team's co-owner. "It doesn't seem like it could be that much, but they're already ready to race and up to speed. It's just a really good situation for us because they move in and you're beyond the testing and all that stuff, or hoping it's going to work, or hoping they mesh. They already mesh. "I've been around a long time and I used to be not a great believer in the chemistry that people talk about all the time -- I didn't pay much attention to it. It's real." During one of Blaney's visits to the Virginia shop, the names Pearson and Yarborough among countless others rang out, the collection of trophies, the backseat race car that Glen Wood drove -- all part of the organization's lore. If Blaney were to help the team add to its collection of keepsakes, it would help the team inch toward another historic milestone. The Wood Brothers sit at 98 victories at NASCAR's top level, the most recent coming in the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne at the wheel. For now, Blaney is focused on converting victory No. 1 before the team can think about its 100th. "It's really motivation for everybody," Blaney said. "Everyone wants to excel and have success, and that can work out for both of us. No pressure, really. All I see is opportunity and extra motivation to get it done." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 22 driver offers apologies to Erik Jones for day-ending bump Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live LAS VEGAS -- A late-race wreck in Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 led to two drivers being upset at Ryan Blaney . Erik Jones . And Ryan Blaney . Blaney's bump on Jones' No. 20 Toyota on Lap 173 turned the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and sent him hard into the outside retaining wall, which appeared to not be protected by a SAFER barrier. The head-on shot mangled the front of Jones' car and sent the driver, who was battling Blaney for third place, on an ambulance ride to the infield care center. "I'm not sure what I hit," Jones said when asked about the SAFER barrier implication. "I just knew it was a wall. I'm not too sure." Safety measures have been one of the major talking points for drivers this year, starting in Daytona when Kyle Busch -- Jones' boss in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- broke his right leg when he smashed an inside retaining wall. Jeff Gordon crushed his car last week at Atlanta hitting a concrete wall. This shot was a direct hit, but came via inadvertent contact. Racing in close quarters, Blaney's car, which was on the inside lane, wiggled significantly and drifted up the track. His No. 22 Ford righted once it hit Jones' car, but it sent the No. 20 into a spin that Jones had no shot of righting. "The 22 (of Blaney ) just lost it, obviously," said Jones, who would finish 29th. "We were there to catch him and save his day. Not a lot of car control from him, and it was really unfortunate to get taken out that way. We had a strong car, and one I thought could probably contend for the win. It's just a shame that it had to end the way it did." Blaney opened every post-race interview by apologizing to Jones for his role in the wreck. By the time Blaney arrived in the media center for his press conference following a runner-up finish, his body language gave even more cues than his words. "That sucked," Blaney said, his face a grimace and his shoulders slumped. "I hate to see him wreck. It was unfortunate." Despite his role in that incident, Blaney was in position to challenge Austin Dillon , who led 183 laps, for the win. Dillon threw a block when Blaney attempted to pass low, and then again when the No. 22 roared up to the top line. Was there a thought in Blaney's mind to attempt to move Dillon for the win? No. And it was directly due to the previous incident with Jones. "I didn't want people saying any more bad things about me after I wrecked Erik," Blaney said of his reasoning. "I mean, it's a racing incident, but you never want to see a wrecked race car and you be a part of it. I know it's a racing deal, but that's the worst spot to be in, pinned down on the bottom and have someone right on your door. It happens, but I don't like getting into things with people. I hope he knows I feel bad about it." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule