It’s Blaney In Canadian Photo Finish!
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Ryan Blaney overcame a poor qualifying lap and a late-race battle with German Quiroga to win his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of the season Sunday afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Blaney started Sunday’s race from the 14th position after a mishap during qualifying on Saturday afternoon. As a result Blaney’s crew, led by crew chief Chad Kendrick, opted for one-stop pit strategy in an effort to get Blaney towards the front of the field.
The strategy worked perfectly as Blaney made his lone pit stop on lap 30, then stayed on track while the rest of the field cycled through their second round of pit stops around lap 40. Blaney took the lead on lap 44 when Johnny Sauter made his pit stop, but his crew was unsure if he’d make it to the finish without some caution laps.
Blaney got the help he needed on lap 46 when John Hunter Nemechek’s truck slowed to a stop on the Mario Andretti Straightaway. That allowed Quiroga, who used a fuel-only stop early in the race to gain track position, to close the gap on Blaney.
The field returned to racing with 13 laps left and Blaney quickly took command of the field with Quiroga hot on his heels. Behind them polesitter Alex Tagliani was slicing his way through the field, making contact with Cole Custer in turn five to send Custer for a spin.
One lap later Tagliani’s luck went the other way after he went for a spin all by himself in the same corner. Tagliani was unable to get his Ford restarted and NASCAR was forced to wave the caution flag with 11 laps left.
The green flag waved for the final time with eight laps left, with Blaney once again grabbing the lead with Quiroga right behind him. The front pair quickly built a gap between themselves and the third-place battle between Erik Jones and Gray Gaulding.