NASCAR

Ryan Blaney Earns Surprise Win at Kentucky Motor Speedway

Ryan Blaney

Matthew O’Haren-USA Today Sports

The NASCAR Nationwide Series and Kentucky Motor Speedway are both known for producing career-defining wins, especially when mixed together under the lights. Ryan Blaney was able to become the fifth first-time winner at Kentucky, but will he be able to persist at the next level, or will he fade away like previous drivers have?

The answer, at least for now, is probably not. Thanks to Brad Keselowski Racing and his father Dave Blaney, Ryan was able to get his talent noticed at his very young age; and when coupled with elite equipment, Blaney was simply able to drive away from the field, putting Penske Racing’s 22 car in victory lane for the 10th time this season.

Going forward, there is only more hope that Blaney will not join the ranks of David Gilliland and Stephen Leicht as drivers who could not succeed at the next level, despite capturing their first major wins at the rough Kentucky track.

Although a promotion next season will be a bit of a stretch, he has been linked to Furniture Row Racing and the seat vacated by Kurt Busch. Furniture Row recently announced they will be continuing their technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, and adding Blaney to the fray would give Childress an incredibly talented young driver lineup beginning in 2014.

While Penske Racing took a lead in the owners championship, Sam Hornish Jr. was able to put his points lead at 15 over Austin Dillon with less than 10 races to go. Hornish does not have a ride for next season despite proving to be incredibly consistent under mounting pressure at Kentucky.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486