Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Loudon

SOURCE: @CoolnovelBro

#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 14th, Finished 11th

Ryan Blaney was once again best in class, and seemed headed for his seventh top-ten finish of 2016.  He started 14th and was knocking on the door of 10th by Lap 176.  But after pitting under green on Lap 185, Blaney was too fast entering pit road, and the pass-through penalty forced him to do it all over again.  This time, he was helped by the late-race miscues of the leaders, bringing him back to the same spot he was running at the moment of the penalty.

Next Sunday at Indianapolis, Blaney will sport a special blue-and-white paint scheme for his second Cup start at the track.  Not only did he finish a strong 12th in last year’s 400-miler, but he came within one slip of besting Kyle Busch in the XFINTY Series race.

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 36th, Finished 35th

Much like Charlotte in May, Sunday’s race in Loudon was marked by long stretches of green-flag racing and low attrition, a disastrous combination for the remaining Open teams.  Sorenson’s white-and-purple Vydox Plus finished a distant second in class, six laps behind and on the same circuit as the damaged Chase Elliott.  Still, Sorenson finished ahead of five other drivers, including three Chartered entries: the #32 of Go FAS Racing, the #44 of Richard Petty Motorsports, and Leavine Family Racing’s #95.

Sorenson has more Cup starts at Indianapolis than any of his fellow Open team drivers with six.  He is the 2007 polesitter of the Brickyard 400, and that day his fleet Chip Ganassi-prepared #41 Target / FujiFilm Dodge came home 5th.  He also started 9th and finished 13th for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009.

#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Ryan Ellis
Started 40th, Finished 37th

Ryan Ellis made his first start for Premium Motorsports in place of Cole Whitt in the #98.  The effort attracted sponsorship from performance auto part machinists SuperLiteCars.com as well as Vermont’s veteran-owned 14th Star Brewing Company.  Though Ellis struggled to find speed, trailing the first two practice sessions and starting shotgun on the field, he also came home with the car intact with his third Cup start in the books.

Next week at Indianapolis, Ellis will return to BK Racing in the Open #93 ScienceLogic Toyota, where he will try and make his first-ever start at the track.  One of the cars he’ll have to beat in qualifying will be Cole Whitt, who will return to the #98.  Whitt’s best finish in two Indy starts was a 32nd in 2014, when he drove for BK Racing.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 39th, Finished 40th

Josh Wise finished last in Sunday’s race after an early crash.  For more, read Sunday’s LASTCAR.info feature.

This weekend, Wise looks to make his first Indianapolis start since 2014, when he finished a track-best 29th for Phil Parsons Racing in the #98 Curb Records / Lee Brice “I Don’t Dance” Chevrolet.




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

None of the other part-time Open teams attempted the race in Loudon.

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