NASCAR Prospect Ryan Blaney Emerging As Future Star

By Brandon Butt
Ryan Blaney
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

With the plans for talented youngster Ryan Blaney being unknown with only a few weeks until the 2014 season, the only certainty is that he will be successful in whichever series he suits up for.

Blaney’s loyalty towards Penske Racing and lack of talk with other racing teams leaves little imagination as to the possibilities for his 2014 campaign. All indications lead towards a return to his full-time no. 29 Cooper Standard BK Racing Truck Series ride, with limited duties in Nationwide and possibly a Sprint Cup debut.

As Penske has made it clear they will remain a two-car operation in 2014 (no. 2, no. 22), Blaney will have to wait to make his Sprint debut in the no. 12 car when sponsorship has been found. He is expected to make a 2014 debut, however, at some point.

In his first two NASCAR campaigns in 2012 and 2013, Blaney had the opportunity to race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In his first season in 2012, Blaney was able to record five top-10s, two top-fives and one win in nine races in the Truck Series. In all of his races, he finished 11th or better with the exception of two races where he crashed, finishing 28th and 30th respectively.

Meanwhile, in his Nationwide debut campaign, Blaney was able to produce seven top-10s and one top-five in 13 races. Although his Nationwide season was not quite as dominant as in the Truck Series, he did put up a similar stat line. Consistency is key in NASCAR, and he has displayed this.

By his second season, with more opportunities to race, he was able to put in his first full-time 22-race season in the Truck Series with BK Racing. He posted a solid 13 top-10s, eight top-fives and one win while capturing the pole twice, finishing sixth in points. Still gaining some Nationwide experience, Blaney appeared in three races, finishing in the top-10 in all three with one being a top-five finish. He also made it to victory lane for his first Nationwide win.

With his Sprint Cup debut fast approaching, Blaney will be looking to get as much seat time as possible in any series. Being projected as one of, if not the best NASCAR prospect currently not in the NSCS, it is now just a waiting game until his presence becomes a regular one in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Be patient, NASCAR fans. With the current youth movement in the sport, it won’t be long until Blaney is a top contender every Sunday and threatening the league’s elite for a championship title.

Brandon Butt is a NASCAR writer for Follow him on Twitter @ButtBrandon, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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