… and Blaney joins the team

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

Ryan Blaney will make the move to Team Penske and drive a third en­try for the team in 2018.

Blaney will drive the No. 12 Ford and join Joey Logano and Brad Ke­selowski in team owner Roger Penske’s NASCAR lineup. The 23year-old Blaney was signed to Penske and farmed out to race for Wood Brothers Rac­ing. Blaney won his first ca­reer NASCAR Cup race this sea­son at Po­cono.

“This is a huge op­por­tu­nity for me and my ca­reer,” said Blaney, a third-gen­er­a­tion driver. “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, Ed­die and Len (Wood) and the op­por­tu­ni­ties their or­ga­ni­za­tions have given me.”

Blaney has three top-five fin­ishes this sea­son and is 12th in the stand­ings. His 2018 spon­sor and crew chief were not an­nounced.

Penske also will need to ac­quire a char­ter to run the third car.

“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,” Penske said. “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.”

JERRY MARKLAND, GETTY IM­AGES

Ryan Blaney, right, is hugged by Dar­rell Wal­lace Jr. at the Po­cono 400 in June.

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