Saturday, 22 June 2024

Ryan Blaney to Team Penske; Paul Menard to Wood Brothers; and an opening at Childress

Posted On Sunday, 30 July 2017 04:51 Written by
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All the big news in NASCAR this week has centered around the Ford camp, first with the announcement that Brad Keselowski was staying with Team Penske, then a double-whammy with the news that Ryan Blaney would make the somewhat expected move over to a third Team Penske car (leaving the Wood Brothers), and that Paul Menard would come over to the Woods along with some some Menard's sponsor money to help solidify their funding (thus opening up another ride at Childress -- perhaps for Matt Kenseth?).


Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, weighed in on Blaney's move to the 12 car, where he will be a teammate to Keselowski and Joey Logano.
"Ryan has certainly earned this opportunity with Team Penske.  We knew all along that his time with the Wood Brothers was dependent on adding another car at Team Penske, but what he has accomplished with the Wood Brothers is impressive and he has played a key role in returning the 21 car to victory lane.  Right now, we're all committed to getting the Wood Brothers their 100th win and a season championship this year," Pericak said.



Pericak also weighed in on the Menard arrival, saying he was excited about what Paul brings to the Ford squad.


"We're excited to welcome Paul back into the Ford fold, and look forward to having him a part of the Wood Brothers team.  He's a veteran driver and will fit in very well with the Wood Brothers and their program.  The additional support from Menard's helps solidifies their full-time status, and we are confident that the great progress the Wood Brothers have made the last two seasons will continue," he said.


So what's my take on all this?
1. Having the contract done will help Keselowski tremendously, as he can focus on the task at hand -- winning a Cup championship in 2017. Distractions like this are never a good thing for a driver, so I'm sure he's glad it's over.

2. Ryan Blaney is destined to be a superstar, and will win many races in the 12 car. The fact that he's competitive in the 21 when no one else has been able to do that for many a moon shows how much more of threat he'll be next year when he's in Penske equipment and not just part of a satellite team.


3. As for Menard, he said he's excited to drive such an iconic car for a team that's been in the sport since the beginning. The question is will he have the results Blaney has been getting. I don't foresee that, but stranger things have happened. After several stagnant years at Childress, it is definitely time for a change for Menard, and changes can often lead to great results.


4. So what does Childress do now? FIrst, he has to make sure he can fund the 27 car without Menard and his familiy money there ... If he can, Matt Kenseth is easily the best option out there and should be pursued. Childress could use another veteran on his team who is able to run up front and also help out young Austin Dillon as he matures into a contender in the Cup series.


Matt Myftiu can be reached on Twitter @MattMyftiu, or via email 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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