Ryan Blaney Excited To Pilot Wood Brothers Racing’s Iconic No. 21 Carby Hunter Thomas January 20, 2016 0 comments
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It wasn’t that long ago when Ryan Blaney won a Pro All-Stars Series race at Dillon Motor Speedway. In 2016, he’ll be the driver to pilot the Wood Brothers Racing’s first full-time effort since the 2008 season.
Blaney has 18 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts with his best finish coming at Talladega Superspeedway last May when he finished fourth. The 22-year old has four wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as four wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“It’s every young racer’s dream, especially me growing up watching my dad do it for so long, and being at the race track ever since I can remember,” said Ryan Blaney at the Ford Performance Center on Wednesday. “That’s what I look up to doing, that’s what I looked forward to doing. That’s the ultimate goal. I personally have been very fortunate throughout my whole racing career to have a dad that’s provided me with some great stuff to drive, which opens doors like it did in 2012 with the BKR team and then Penske and now over here with the Wood Brothers. It’s really neat and it’s all happened so fast.”
Although Blaney has found success early in his career, he certainly isn’t underestimating the magnitude of the challenge he’ll face this season. Even Team Penske’s Joey Logano entered the series on fire after dominating the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but it took him a few years to find the right opportunity. Wood Borthers Racing has a technical alliance with Team Penske this season, so Blaney will have some of the best equipment and data the Ford Performance family has.
“The biggest challenge is just the competition level in the Cup Series,” Blaney said. “It’s so large and Jeremy (crew chief, Bullins) said it perfect. On the XFINITY side we always had a great program over there and we still do. We have great cars and great people and you can go out and run top-5 every week, I feel like. It’s a disappointment when you don’t, but you come over the Cup side and there are 30 cars that can win every single week, I feel like. It’s a good day for us last year when we could run top-15. Obviously, we want to improve on that, but there is some more personal gain it’s just the competition is so much higher and that’s why it’s the Cup Series is people deserve to be there and we’re lucky enough to be there and be racing on Sundays.”
On Wednesday during the 2016 Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, co-owner, Eddie Wood said that the team is still trying to find partners to help with the sponsorship throughout the 2016 season. The No. 21 Ford has traditionally featured a red and white scheme with a gold number, but the team is certainly open to another scheme if the dollars are there.
“As we said at Homestead when we announced this, we’re also trying to get other partners involved with other races to help make it all work for everyone,” Wood said. “That’s kind of an ongoing work in progress. I’m like you, I’m really partial to the red and white, but if someone comes up and they need it to be pink or purple, that’s fine with us as long as we can go to the race track.”
The family has been involved in the sport for decades, and now they want to once again compete for championships in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“It just felt like you were supposed to be doing something else. You’re just not supposed to be at home when everybody else is racing, so this is just a great opportunity for us,” Wood said.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas