Ryan Blaney is ready for Martinsville and revealed his expectations ahead of the important race: “It’s been a decent year. Obviously, we would have liked to have won other than the All-Star Race. I thought we’ve put ourselves in multiple positions to do it, it just hasn’t really fallen into place,” Blaney said for motorsport.com “It’s kind of been all-around.
I haven’t done the best job. We’ve had some stumbles on pit road in races I thought we could have won. A good year, the wins haven’t come, and if they did, that would make it a really good year." Blaney is optimistic about Martinsville, mostly due to the fact that he has already shown his qualities there.
“I couldn’t think of a better place,” he said. “We’ve run really good there in the past. We’ve probably given away two or three (grandfather) clocks. It would be nice to actually get one. It’s a big weekend for us, obviously.
Hopefully, the driver does his job unlike what he’s done the last two weeks and we put ourselves in position to try to win the race and get to Phoenix”.
However, things were not always the best for him in Martinsville.
“I didn’t run very good there in Trucks or the first couple times in a Cup car. It really wasn’t until the fall race 2017 and especially the spring race of 2018, something just kind of clicked,” he said.
“It’s a place we worked really, really hard on, like Richmond. At the time, Brad (Keselowski, former Penske teammate) was really strong at Martinsville and so I looked at a lot of his stuff. You kind of mold yourself around what works for guys to see if it works for you at certain race tracks.
It just kind of fit my driving style once it kind of clicked. There’s no better time to pull one off than right now”. The whole team is with Blaney, and they support each other. He is aware of the importance of the next race.
“For us to be in this spot, I’m just proud of the effort from everybody for not really having the bonus points from wins to get through (playoff) rounds,” he said. “If I hadn’t made a mistake the last two weeks, we would be sitting in a really good spot.
That’s just not the case. “We could have done better, myself included – I’m a big part of that”.