Ryan Blaney is the young American stock car racing driver and one of the main prospects to became future NASCAR champion.
Until the age of 24, Blaney scored eleven wins in all three NASCAR national divisions – four in the Truck Series, six in the Xfinity Series and the most recently, his maiden victory in the Cup Series, at the 2017 Pocono 400 race at Pocono Raceway. Blaney's great achievement is also the second place at 2017 Daytona 500.
Third generation racer in a family
Born on the last day of 1993 in High Point, North Carolina, Ryan Michael Blaney became the third generation race car driver in a family, following his father, former stock car racer Dave Blaney, and his grandfather, the Modified dirt track legend Lou Blaney.
Ryan started his racing career in quarter midget racing and in Bandolero cars, winning races at the age 9. He moved up to Legends cars at age 12. At age 14, he made a debut in late model racing at Orange County Speedway. In 2009, at age 15, he entered the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) competitions, becoming the Rookie of the Year.
Ryan Blaney early in a career
Scoring first ever NASCAR victory in 2011
He also competed in the Champion Racing Association's (CRA) Southern Six Pack series, becoming a champion in 2010. In 2011, he was a champion in the PASS South Super Late Model Series.
Blaney also made his debuts in the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East in 2011. His first ever NASCAR victory was in the K&N Pro Series West season's finale at Phoenix International Raceway.
Entering Nationwide Series and Truck Series in 2012
In 2012, Blaney returned to the K&N Pro Series East with family-owned DB Racing, but that year was marked by his debut both in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Truck Series.
He signed with Tommy Baldwin Racing to compete in six NASCAR Nationwide Series races, driving the #36 SealWrap Chevrolet. Later he added a deal with Penske Racing to drive their #22 Dodge in seven Nationwide races. In total, he participated in thirteen Nationwide Series races with two cars, finishing best in the second place at Texas in the #22 car.
Celebrating maiden NASCAR Truck Series win in 2012
The youngest ever winner in the Truck Series
In addition to drives in the Nationwide Series, he made a debut with Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. He made a debut in the #19 Dodge Ram at Bristol and then switched to the #29 Ford.
In his only third race in a series, at Iowa Speedway in September, Blaney won the race to became the youngest ever winner in the Truck Series. He was 18 years, eight months, and 15 days old.
Ryan Blaney in 2013
2013 – Truck Series Rookie of the Year, first win in the Nationwide Series
In 2013, Brad Keselowski Racing took Blaney to drive the #29 Ford full season in the Truck Series. He scored eight top 5 results, including a victory at Pocono Mountains 125. He finished the season sixth in the final standings and as the Rookie of the Year.
In the Nationwide Series, he had an opportunity to drive for Penske Racing in three events. Driving the #22 Ford at Kentucky 300, he scored his maiden Nationwide Series victory.
Blaney spent two Truck Series seasons with Brad Keselowski Racing
2014 – the most popular driver in the Truck Series
In 2014, Blaney stayed with Brad Keselowski Racing in the Truck Series, finishing the season in the second place, behind Matt Crafton. As a consolation, Blaney had been voted as the most popular driver in a series. In twenty-two Truck Series races in 2014, he scored one win (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) and ten Top 5 results in total.
In 2014, Blaney expanded his Nationwide schedule to fifteen races with Penske Racing's #12 and #22 Fords. He was a race winner at Bristol's Food City 300.
NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2014 with Team Penske
In 2014, Blaney also made a debut in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the #12 Ford Fusion for Team Penske at Kansas Speedway. He finished 27th.
He returned to a cockpit of the #12 Ford at Talladega's Geico 500, finishing the race in 22nd place.
Ryan Blaney joined Wood Brothers Racing in 2015
Joining Wood Brothers Racing in 2015
During 2014, it was announced that Blaney will join Wood Brothers Racing in twenty Cup Series races in 2015. In February 2015, he made a debut at Daytona 500 in the #21 Ford, being classified 39th after his engine blew up on lap 176. His best result during a part-time season with Wood Brothers was the fourth place at Talladega's Geico 500.
In 2015, Blaney stayed on a 13-race part-time schedule with the Team Penske in the Xfinity Series and participated in five Truck Series races with Brad Keselowski Racing. He scored wins in both competitions, winning two races in the Xfinity Series (Iowa and Kentucky) and one race in the Truck Series (Bristol).
Ryan Blaney spent three seasons with Wood Brothers Racing
2016 – first full season in the NASCAR Cup Series
In 2016, Blaney was signed as a full-time Cup Series driver in the Wood Brothers' #21 Ford. He started a year with 19th place at Daytona 500. Later during the season, his best result was the fourth place at the Pure Michigan 400 and Chicagoland 400. At the end of the season, he was 20th in the points.
Blaney continued to drive for Team Penske in the Xfinity Series, recording eight starts in the #12 and #22 Ford. He scored no wins.
Celebrating maiden Cup Series win at Pocono
2017 – second place at Daytona 500, victory at Pocono
The season 2017 turned to be the best so far. Blaney started a year with a second-place finish at Daytona 500, behind Kurt Busch. In June, at Pocono Raceway, he scored his maiden NASCAR Cup Series victory, beating Kevin Harvick. Later in the season, he scored one more top 5 finish with third place at Kansas, finishing the season in the ninth place.
Blaney added two Xfinity Series wins to his account in 2017, the first in the #12 Ford at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the second in the #22 Ford at Dover International Speedway.
Moving to Team Penske in 2018
For the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, it was announced that Ryan Blaney will move to Team Penske to drive the #12 Ford Fusion, the car in which he made his Cup Series debut back in 2014.