Sparta, KY – There’s a ton of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Silly Season rumors going on, one of which is that Ryan Blaney will be with Team Penske for the 2018 season. The rumor is if the team can’t come to an agreement with Brad Keselowski, then Blaney, 23, will pilot the No. 2 Ford next year. If the team can sign Keselowski though, then Penske will expand to a three-car effort with Blaney teaming with Keselowski and Joey Logano on the Cup level.
But, Blaney isn’t concerned with any of that. His main focus is his current team, the Wood Brothers.
“You know, I don’t really think about that stuff,” Blaney said this week ahead of this weekend’s Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway. “Yeah, there’s been talks about it for years, really ever since I got with the Penske group, and things just haven’t really come together. I love the Wood Brothers, and driving for them has been really special for me and my family. I couldn’t ask for a greater group of people.
The main focus right now for Blaney is getting Wood Brothers their 100th career victory. That’s all he wants at the moment.
“The things I’m mostly concentrated on now is trying to win race 100 for the Wood Brothers,” Blaney continued. “That’s something I would really like to achieve, and I think we can do it. I believe we can really do that.”
Blaney though doesn’t discount the talks for him to move to Penske, saying that this was the ultimate goal that each side had in mind when he signed with them as a developmental driver five years ago.
“The discussions with what Roger says, yeah, that’s been trying to go on since 2012 ever since I got over there, and we’re just trying to build up that, and I don’t really know what’s going to happen,” said the driver of the No. 21 Ford. “I’m going to be happy wherever I end up, whether it’s the Wood Brothers or Penske or whatever. I’m really happy with the Ford camp and that family, so we’ll see where everything goes, but I’m more kind of a here-and-now kind of guy, and we’re trying to win Kentucky is my main priority, and we’ll go try to do that. But I’m sure we’ll figure something out here soon, but as of right now, I’m just driving the 21 car this year and pretty happy to be where I’m at.”
Penske is a wise man, he has good people around him, which is why I don’t think he allows Keselowski or Blaney to get away. Keselowski brought Penske his first Cup championship in 2012. The only real hold up there is the support of Keselowski’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. With Austin Cindric driving for him, and who Cindric’s dad is and his role with Penske, this deal should get done soon.
Plus, with Blaney being so good so quick on the Cup level, I don’t think Penske will allow him to get away that easily. With rumored rides at Hendrick, Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing opening up, Blaney will be coveted.
I don’t think Penske lets it get that far.