Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers riding high in wake of Pocono win

Posted On Friday, 16 June 2017 12:49 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. -- It's good to be Ryan Blaney right now.

The upstart third-generation driver -- part of a stellar crowd of strong young contenders including Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez -- is one of the future superstars of the sport, and is fresh off his first career Cup series win last week at Pocono, and is now locked into the 2017 playoffs (formerly known as The Chase).

The Wood Brothers, the storied team he drives for that has employed many of NASCAR's legends, are back to their former glory with Blaney in the 21 car, and the future is Blaney's to tell based on how he performs on the track.

At Michigan International Speedway on Friday, Blaney was appreciative of all the positive feedback he got after his maiden Cup victory.

"It was all positive. I didn't see one negative thing on social media. I saw a video from the stands and everyone was on their feet cheering. It makes me feel really good to see people support us. You don't get that much nowadays," he said Friday.

He said the coolest feedback he got was on Twitter, where legendary racer Mario Andretti gave Blaney and the Wood Brothers team a shoutout for the win.

The Wood Brothers team is unique in many ways. They have always been loyal to one manufacturer -- Ford -- and they also avoid burnouts to celebrate victories, a tradition that Blaney upheld after his win last Sunday.

"I just thought it was fitting not to do one in the Wood Brothers car because traditionally that is not how they used to do it. They used to just kind of go around and wave at the fans so I figured that is what we would do. Probably the biggest regret of not having my radio working was I couldn’t find these guys. I couldn’t find where they were and pick them up.”

The Wood Brothers earned their 99th win last week with Blaney's victory. Team owner Eddie Wood said Friday that getting No. 100 this weekend at MIS would be special.
“You never know. It would really be cool to do the 100th here with it being in Ford Motor Company’s backyard, Motocraft’s backyard. It would be an honor to win up here,” he said.

Also of note this week: Blaney will be driving a unique paint scheme this week, with new sponsor Omnicraft onboard. The new orange-colored design was unveiled on Friday morning at MIS.

Eddie Wood said the thing he is most proud of is the team's long-term relationship with Ford.

“That’s probably the single-most important thing to our family; the relationship that we have with Ford Motor Company. It started with our dad and uncles in 1950 and we’ve never raced anything but Ford Motor Company products. That’s probably the biggest thing that we’re proud of in our whole organization. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs through the years, Ford Motor Company was always there."

My take: What's clear is that Blaney has shown he is capable of winning any given week, given the right equipment.

If he continues to run well for the Wood Brothers, they could end up being championship contenders for the first time in decades. 
If the performance is spotty, it's likely larger teams will make efforts to lure Blaney away.

Either way, Blaney should remain among the top young guns in the series for years to come, so get used to seeing him run up front.

Matt Myftiu can be reached on Twitter @MattMyftiu. AutoTechReviews can be reached on Twitter @AutoTechReview. You can email Matt Myftiu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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