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BLANEY STREAKS TO FIRST-EVER WIN AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 7, 2018) —
Pole-winner Ryan Blaney extended the growing legacy of Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang team Saturday afternoon, dominating the field en route to victory in the 22nd annual My Bariatrics Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Blaney handed the team led by crew chief Brian Wilson its third consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series victory after 200-laps/300-miles around TMS’ 1.5-mile oval. Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford, finished 2.327-seconds ahead of Christopher Bell and his No. 20 Game Stop/Hello Neighbor Toyota Camry.
Blaney, a regular in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for car-owner Roger Penske, scored his seventh Xfinity victory and first at TMS after claiming his second pole in 66 series starts.
“This Mustang was amazing all weekend,” said Blaney, a two-time runnerup here last year. “It’s finally nice to win one in Texas.”
The No. 22 Ford had won the last two consecutive races at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., (with Brad Keselowski) and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., (with Joey Logano) to take the owner standings lead over JR Motorsports’ No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro team.
Since the series’ inception in 1982, a single car/team has only won three or more consecutive races 13 times. The last time a team in the Xfinity Series won three races in a row was 2016, when Kyle Busch — the series’ winningest driver — won at Kentucky (7/8), New Hampshire (7/16) and Indianapolis (7/23) in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota Camry.
Team Penske is no stranger to stringing wins together. The No. 22 Ford guys won three straight in 2013 with Keselowski earning the victory at Iowa (8/3) and Watkins Glen (8/10) and AJ Allmendinger winning at Mid-Ohio (8/17).
Blaney now has six series starts at TMS, posting five top-three finishes.
Weather conditions were a critical factor all day. Ambient temperature at the drop of the green flag shortly after 2 p.m. (CDT) was 34 degrees. According to the track’s unofficial records, the previous coldest race here was the O’Reilly 300 Xfinity Series event run on April 14, 2007, when the temp was an “unseasonable” 47 degrees. That event was won by Matt Kenseth in the No. 17 Ford over Denny Hamlin and his No. 20 Chevrolet by 0.128-seconds — still the closest Xfinity Series result in TMS history.
Meanwhile, 76-year-old Morgan Shepherd’s landmark 1,000th NASCAR national series start saw him complete just 38 laps in his No. 89 Visone RV Camaro before retiring.