Have the "floodgates" now opened for Ryan Blaney?

Ryan Blaney has been every bit a contender for race wins as his Penske teammates this season, but it wasn’t until Monday that was able to join them with a trip to Victory Lane.

Have the "floodgates" now opened for Ryan Blaney?
Race Winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang leads the field in the final lap
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Menards /Sylvania
Race Winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Race Winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Race Winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang leads the field

Through the season’s first 12 races, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski had both amassed a pair of wins as Blaney continued run on par with his teammates but repeatedly came up frustratingly short of a win.

The driver of the No. 12 Ford has been one of the most consistent performers this season, tied with the most top-five finishes (seven), ranked third in the series standings and has already led 308 laps (his career best is 660).

Yet Blaney’s first win of the season in Monday’s rain-delayed GEICO 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway came on NASCAR’s most unpredictable of tracks, yet one on which he has proven quite adapt at conquering.

Read Also:

“The whole year really, but the past month and a half has been really good for us. We’ve had some really good runs,” Blaney, 26, said. “We’ve had really fast cars, had a chance to win I feel like every race the last month and a half. It just really hasn't fallen our way. We just haven’t been in the right place at the right time or not been quite fast enough.

“Coming (to Talladega), you just don’t really know your outcome. You don’t really know how things are going to be. You can’t work on your car really too much to get better throughout the race. You don’t control your destiny a whole lot like other race tracks.

“It is a little funny. We’ve been knocking on the door all year, and it just happened to be here.”

While superspeedway racing involves many factors out of a team or driver’s control, Blaney still seems to have found a knack at mastering its intricacies.

Monday’s win was his second consecutive at Talladega and in his last three superspeedway races, he’s finished first, second and first, including his runner-up finish in this year’s Daytona 500.

The first of many?

So far in his relatively brief Cup Series career, Blaney has never won more than one race in a season. With a victory in hand fairly early this year and with the strength of Team Penske overall, Blaney hopes Monday’s win is the first of several.

“Nice to finally break through, get the first one of the year. Hopefully, this opens the floodgates here and we can get on a roll,” he said. “This team has been awesome. They’ve been so much fun to work with all year.”

The Penske organization began the year with a shakeup, swapping crew chiefs and crews among its three drivers.

Todd Gordon, who had been Logano’s crew chief since his arrival at Penske, moved to the No. 12 to work with Blaney. He and his new driver haven’t missed a beat.

“You saw him battle back, knew what he had. He knew he had speed, he overcame, came back to the front. We’ve seen that a lot this year,” Gordon said of Blaney’s performance at Talladega.

“Back at Martinsville, we drove through the field twice to finish second. He could have gotten down and he hasn’t. He’s done a phenomenal job of staying engaged and leading us, telling us what he wants, talking through things, staying focused on the big prize.

“He’s exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to see what we can do the rest of the season.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
NASCAR: If hate crime is suspected, we’ll do the same again
Previous article

NASCAR: If hate crime is suspected, we’ll do the same again

Next article

NASCAR's Phelps: "The noose was real" but its origins unknown

NASCAR's Phelps: "The noose was real" but its origins unknown
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021