Ryan Blaney signs long-term extension with Team Penske
By JENNA FRYER
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Team Penske signed Ryan Blaney to a multiyear contract extension ahead of his final push to make NASCAR's playoffs.
Blaney has been part of the Penske organization since he was 19 and ran three races in 2012 in the Xfinity Series. He's been part of the three-car Cup lineup at Penske since 2018 and the team said Wednesday his extension is a "long-term agreement" for him to remain in the No. 12 Ford.
"Team Penske has been family to me for 10 years, so I'm incredibly excited to continue with this family for the future," said Blaney. "Roger Penske is a legend in our sport, and I've always said getting to drive for him is something everyone dreams of doing. I look forward to continuing to win for Team Penske, Roger and all of our partners, as we work towards our goal of winning a Cup Series championship."
The seven-time Cup winner has made the playoffs every season since 2017 but finds himself on the bubble with two regular-season races remaining. Blaney is ranked second in the standings - which in any other year would be good enough for one of the 16 spots in the playoff field.
But drivers qualify for the playoffs by winning a race and there have been 15 different race winners so far and Blaney's only victory this season came in the non-points All-Star race. Blaney is locked into a battle with 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. for the final spot in the field. Truex is ranked fourth in the Cup standings.
The series races Sunday at Watkins Glen International, where Blaney finished a career-best fifth in 2019. His average finish is 11th in five career starts.
"Ryan has become one of the top competitors in the NASCAR Cup Series and we are excited for him to continue his career and build on his success with Team Penske," said Roger Penske. "He has been a key part of our team for more than a decade and we have seen him grow and develop, both on and off the track."
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Updated August 17, 2022