Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team came up a little short in Friday’s Sprint Cup qualifying session at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but Blaney and the team still feel they’ll have plenty of speed by the time the green flag drops to begin Sunday’s 300-mile race.
Blaney made it through the first of three rounds of knock-out qualifying, but he came up a bit shy of advancing to the final round and will start 16th on Sunday.
“Whenever you’re not in the last round you always think you missed it a little bit,” Blaney said. “I thought we lost a little bit of speed from practice to qualifying, which is not what you want, but I think there are some things we’ve learned and we can apply for next time here.”
Blaney said changing track conditions from practice to qualifying was a factor, but he also expressed confidence that his Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew would be able to use Saturday’s practice session to find more speed before Sunday.
“We’ve got some new stuff to try [Saturday] in race trim that I’m excited about,” Blaney said.
“We’ll see what that brings.”
Crew chief Jeremy Bullins said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew used a chassis set-up that had proven to produce good speed at New Hampshire in the past, but it didn’t deliver as expected during qualifying.
“Maybe it’s time to try something a little different,” he said. “We have quite a few things to work through in tomorrow’s first practice to get ready to make some long race runs in happy hour.”
“I’m sure by the time tomorrow is over with we’ll have a better idea of what areas we need to focus on to be better.”
Sunday’s race is set to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.