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BLANEY FLIRTS WITH 200 MPH DURING TMS CUP PRACTICE

It appears Ryan Blaney really does have unfinished business at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Blaney led a race-high 148 laps and won the first two stages during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event here on April 9. But a pit stop that led to second guessing resulted in a 12th-place finish in an event won by - who else? - seven-time and reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Blaney led a trio of drivers hot-lapping around TMS’ repaved and reconfigured 1.5-mile oval close to 200 mph in his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Fusion with a top speed of 199.933 mph (27.009 seconds). He was followed by fellow Playoff partner Denny Hamlin at 199.196 mph in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry.

Non-Playoff participant Kurt Busch was third at 199.181 mph in his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford.

Blaney, of Wood Brothers Racing, enters Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 six points behind Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing on the cutoff line to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks. Blaney is coming off a third-place finish at Kansas Speedway and an eighth-place showing last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

In five starts at TMS, Blaney never has finished better than 12th (twice). He also did not finish his first two races around the 1.5-mile track.

Rounding out the Playoff contenders were Martin Truex Jr., fourth at 198.954 mph in the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota Camry; Chase Elliott, sixth at 196.749 mph in the No. 24 Hooters Chevrolet SS; Martinsville winner Kyle Busch, eighth at 198.100 in the No. 18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota; Harvick in ninth at 198.027 mph in the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford; Brad Keselowski, 13th at 197.578 mph in the No. 2 Wurth Ford; and Johnson in 19th at 196.428 mph after only three laps in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy SS.

The track Cup qualifying record belongs to retired three-time series champion Tony Stewart at 26.985-seconds and 200.111 mph for the November 2014 race. Salute To Veterans Qualifying Days Fueled by Texas Lottery is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. today.

 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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