Penske expands to third 2018 Cup car for Blaney

Ryan Blaney will return to the Team Penske fold full-time in 2018 driving third NASCAR Cup entry by the team.

Penske expands to third 2018 Cup car for Blaney
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Blaney, 23, will pilot the No. 12 Ford Fusion in the Monster Energy Cup Series starting with The Clash at Daytona International Speedway in February. 

“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,” said team owner Roger Penske.  

“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.”

Penske debuted under the Penske banner in 2014, and was on loan to the Wood Brothers for the last two seasons. He scored his first Cup series win at Pocono Raceway last month and his first Cup pole at Kansas Speedway in May. 

“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career,” Blaney said. “I’ve always enjoyed racing whatever car I was in and trying to win each and every race.

"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 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.”

The third-generation racer from High Point, NC is having a breakout season in Cup. After assisting Team Penske to three-consecutive NXS Owner’s titles from 2013-2105 and scoring five wins along the way, Blaney is currently a career-high 12th in the Cup standings. In addition to Blaney’s Pocono win — the 99th earned for the Wood Brothers — he’s collected three top fives and seven top 10 finishes. 

"Ryan has certainly earned this opportunity with Team Penske,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Performance.

“We knew all along that his time with the Wood Brothers was dependent on adding another car at Team Penske, but what he has accomplished with the Wood Brothers is impressive and he has played a key role in returning the 21 car to victory lane.  

“Right now, we're all committed to getting the Wood Brothers their 100th win and a season championship this year."

Click on image to watch video of the announcement of Blaney moving over to Team Penske next year: 

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