In NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, there’s always a sense of dread when it comes to racing at the restrictor-plate tracks in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Talladega, Ala. That’s because of the likelihood of drivers and their cars being knocked out of a race in a multi-car crash.
But Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway proved that car-crunching multi-car melees can happen at any time on any track.
On Sunday, a wreck that began at the front of the field on a Lap 260 restart damaged 12 cars including the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney. Being swept up in that crash ended a strong run for the rookie driver who spent much of the race up to that point inside the top 12. He also spent several long stretches inside the top 10.
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said bad luck and wrecks are an unavoidable part of the racing business.
“You can have stretches where you have bad luck, and then you can go 10 races and not put a scratch on the car,” Wood said. “That’s just the way it works. We’ve been on both ends of it, and sometimes in the middle.”
Wood said he’s heartened once again by the performance of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.
“We had a fast car, again,” he said. “Ryan did a great job behind the wheel. [Crew chief] Jeremy [Bullins] made some good calls on the pit box, and the crew was impressive as usual.
“They were fast on every pit stop, and after the wreck, they were quick to put the car back together. That allowed us to salvage a 31st-place finish. We didn’t gain any positions, but we didn’t lose any either.”
The speed the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion has shown in recent races has Wood and the entire team anxious to get back on the track at the Kansas Speedway next weekend, where they scored a fifth-place finish earlier this season and a seventh-place in 2015.
“Coming off a top-five finish at Kansas in May, we’re really looking forward to getting back there and putting our back luck behind us,” Wood said.