When it was announced in May that Trevor Bayne would vacate the seat of the legendary #21 owned by the Wood Brothers at the conclusion of the 2014 season, it came as no surprise since Bayne has waited patiently for his opportunity to run the full thirty six race schedule for what seemed like an eternity. Bayne was signed to a contract with Roush Fenway Racing in 2010 and ran a part time schedule in the NNS for nearly three season before replacing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #6 car last season. During his time with Roush Fenway Racing, Bayne also competed for the Wood Brothers in the NSCS on a part time schedule since 2010 that was highlighted by Bayne’s upset win in the 2011 Daytona 500.
Immediately following the announcement that Trevor Bayne would not return to the Wood Brothers Racing team in 2015, reports surfaced that Sam Hornish Jr was a possible candidate to take over the seat of the #21 car in the same capacity as Bayne. However that no longer seems to be the case, several sources are reporting that Ryan Blaney will drive for the Wood Brothers in 2015. Blaney the son of NSCS driver Dave Blaney has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success since making his NASCAR debut in 2012 in both the NNS & NCWTS.
An official announcement is expected to come in a few weeks at the Michigan International Speedway. The plan is to have Ryan Blaney drive the #21 Wood Brothers Ford on a partial schedule in addition to running a full season for Team Penske in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It is widely believed that the partnership between Team Penske and the Wood Brothers is part of a technical alliance that will groom Blaney for success in the NSCS.
Ryan Blaney currently leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings through ten races with six top five finishes, eight top ten finishes. In addition to leading the point standings in the NCWTS, Blaney has competed in seven NNS races posting an average finish of 8.3.
Ryan Blaney made his NSCS debut earlier this season at Kansas Speedway driving for Team Penske, where he qualified 21st and finished 27th. Blaney is expected to compete again in the #12 Team Penske ford at Talladega in October.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports