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Ryan Blaney Joins Team Penske in Cup Series for 2018

Team Penske will run three cars for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, with Ryan Blaney joining its existing pair of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

The 23-year-old Blaney will drive the No. 12 car next season full-time in the Cup Series.

Blaney has driven the No. 21 Ford full-time for Wood Brothers Racing for the last two years and is in his third season for the team. He is signed with Penske through 2018.

This move means Blaney will return to the team that gave him his Cup start, as he made two starts in the No. 12 in 2014 before joining Penske’s satellite team.

He has also has driven part-time in six seasons of the XFINITY Series, taking all five of his wins with the Roger Penske-owned team in the No. 12 Ford.

“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career,” Blaney said in a team release. “I’ve had some great moments with both Team Penske and the Wood Brothers over the last few years. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am today without Roger [Penske], Eddie and Len [Wood] and the opportunities their organizations have given me. I’m excited about the future.

“I’m thrilled knowing that Brad [Keselowski] and Joey [Logano] are long-term teammates for me at Team Penske and Paul [Menard] will have input with our team now that he’s with the Wood Brothers organization. Hopefully we can go out there and win races and compete for championships year after year.”

“For some time now, we have wanted to bring Ryan in to run a third car for us, but things just needed to make sense from a timing and business perspective,” added Roger Penske in the release.  “We have been working on making this a reality and 2018 is the right opportunity to make this move and return our organization to a three-car team. The benefits of having three full-time teams under our roof, along with the continued technical partnership with the Wood Bothers, will help us remain competitive in the ever-changing NASCAR landscape.”

In 20 starts this season, Blaney has one win, three top fives and seven top 10s, his inaugural victory coming at Pocono Raceway. He sits 12th in points.

Blaney also has seven starts this season in the XFINITY Series, finishing in the top five in all of them in addition to one win.

The news came as Paul Menard was announced as Blaney’s replacement in the No. 21 for 2018. Menard currently drives the No. 27 for Richard Childress Racing.

 

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Lynne

This is fantastic news! Team Penske, Trifecta of Awesomeness!

Biff Baynehouse

This is HUGE! Thrilled for Ryan!
Correction – In ’15, Blaney was *PART-TIME with WBR in Cup, with only 16 races, plus 3 dnq’s. ’16 was Blaney’s *FIRST full time season with WBR, ’17 is his *SECOND, & ’18 will be his THIRD Cup season.

Tom B

Blaney ran 16 races in 2015, yet he was eligible to compete for Rookie of the Year in 2016. Go Figure.

kb

Love Penske, Love Joey and Brad…wish Blaney stayed with the Wood Brothers..not a fan of a 3 car team with Penske (OFFICIALLY). Nah, not jumping up and down over this on! PAUL MENARD of all people in the fabled car…makes my skin crawl.

Tom B

Paul Menard in the iconic 21, that’s like Bubba Wallace in the iconic 43 Except PM has a deep pocket sponsor.

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