A day after announcing that Brad Keselowski would be sticking with the organization for the foreseeable future, Team Penske revealed more of their plans for next season by announcing that Ryan Blaney would be moving over to the team in 2018 as they expand to a three car operation.
While no mention was made of who would sponsor Blaney’s car, the team announced he would be piloting the No. 12 car, which returns to the track full-time for the first time since 2010. Blaney’s contract length with the team was not specified either, but the team did note that he had signed a multiyear agreement.
“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,” said Roger Penske. “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.”
Blaney, who currently sits 12th in points, has driven for the Wood Brothers, which has an alliance with Team Penske, over the past three seasons, where he has scored one win (Pocono, June 2017), seven top-five finishes, 18 top-10 finishes and one pole in 72 starts. He started his Cup Series career with two starts for Team Penske in 2014.
Since his NASCAR career began in 2012, Blaney has driven for Team Penske affiliated organizations as he has moved through the ranks, beginning with Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he ran part-time in 2012, followed by two full-time seasons in 2013 and 2014. Since that time, Blaney has also run on a part-time basis for Team Penske in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
In the six years since his NASCAR career started, Blaney has racked up four wins in the Truck Series and five wins in the Xfinity Series in addition to his Cup Series triumph earlier this season.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career,” said Blaney, a third-generation driver from High Point, NC. “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 (Penske), Eddie and Len (Wood) and the opportunities their organizations have given me. I’m thrilled knowing that Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano) are long-term teammates for me at Team Penske and Paul (Menard) will have input with our team now that he’s with the Wood Brothers organization. Hopefully we can go out there and win races and compete for championships year after year.”