Tuesday, May 10, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Kansas


#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 7th, Finished 5th

Ryan Blaney and the Wood Brothers continued their impressive season on Saturday, earning back-to-back Top Tens for the second time in 2016 with Blaney’s second-straight Top Ten at Kansas.  Blaney ran mid-pack in practice, but found some speed in qualifying and never looked back.  He ran as high as 3rd, quickly slotting into line on restarts, and lost just two spots by the end of the race.

Next week will be Blaney’s first Cup start at Dover, but it’s a track where he won the pole and finished 4th in last fall’s XFINITY race and never finished worse than 7th in Trucks.  It will be the Wood Brothers’ first start there since September 21, 2008, when Marcos Ambrose came home five laps down in 32nd.  In 73 previous Dover starts, the Woods have seven wins, 17 Top Fives, 29 Top Tens, and four poles.  The last win came with the late Neil Bonnett in 1981.

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 40th, Finished 33rd

Back in the #55 for his fifth start of the season, Reed Sorenson started at the back of the field, was the first to be lapped, but managed to pass a few cars in the final stages of the race.  It’s the second time in a row the #55 ranked second among the Open teams and the first time Sorenson has done so in 2016.

Sorenson has made 16 Cup starts at Dover with a best finish of 11th in the fall of 2006, but he also started 4th for Richard Petty Motorsports in the spring of 2009.  Team owner Jay Robinson’s best finish in four starts at the track was a 22nd in Brett Moffitt’s series debut in the spring of 2014.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 36th, Finished 36th

Josh Wise was the second car lapped by Martin Truex, Jr. at the start of Saturday’s race, passed by the #78 down the backstretch on Lap 22.  Seconds later, a debris caution fell, handing Wise the Lucky Dog.  He lost the lap again on the 51st circuit and remained at the back of the field the rest of the afternoon.  With less than 20 laps to go, Wise pulled behind the wall with suspension issues, marking driver and team’s third DNF of the season.

Wise has eight Cup starts at Dover on his resume with a career-best 25th in the spring of 2013.  While The Motorsports Group has never made a Cup start at the track, owner Curtis Key’s old XFINITY team has been there 31 times since 1993 with a best finish of 14th by Scott Wimmer in the fall of 2009.  Key is currently in the process of selling his remaining XFINITY cars.

#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Cole Whitt
Started 37th, Finished 39th

On Saturday, Cole Whitt was unable to defend his spot on the lead lap for long as electrical and ignition issues sent him to the garage on Lap 57.  It appeared that Whitt was set to lock up his first last-place finish since Las Vegas, but the team never stopped working on the problem.  After three trips to the garage, the #98 was back on the track around Lap 130, 51 circuits behind the leaders.  Though he lost four more laps by race’s end, he gained one spot to 39th after Paul Menard lost an engine.

In five previous over starts, Whitt’s best Dover finish came last May, when he came home 26th for Front Row Motorsports.




#26 BK Racing
#35 Front Row Motorsports
#40 Hillman Racing
#59 Leavine Family / Circle Sport Racing
#93 BK Racing

None of the part-time teams returned to attempt the race at Kansas.

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