During the recent NASCAR weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., reports surfaced putting Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford of Wood Brothers Racing in the Sprint Cup Series on a part-time basis in 2015 through an alliance between the Wood Brothers organization and Team Penske. No official announcement has been released, but none of the parties involved are denying the reports. An official announcement is thought to possibly be planned for the race weekend at Michigan International Raceway in Brooklyn, Mich., later this month.
Blaney currently competes full-time in the Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 29 Ford owned by Team Penske Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski through a development deal for Blaney between Penske and Keselowski. He also drives the No. 22 Ford Nationwide Series entry for Roger Penske on a part-time basis.
Wood Brothers Racing has raced only part-time in the Sprint Cup Series in recent years. Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne is the current driver of the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21, but Roush Fenway Racing team owner Jack Roush recently announced that Bayne would drive the No. 6 Sprint Cup Series entry for his team full-time next year, leaving the vacancy in the No. 21 car.
At Pocono, in response to the Blaney/Wood Brothers Racing speculation, Team Penske released the following statement: “Ryan Blaney continues to do a great job with our organization and we have a plan for his progression within Team Penske. While we have had some discussions with our partners at Ford, nothing has been finalized.’’
Blaney dodged discussion of the possible promotion by saying that his focus is winning the Truck Series championship. Currently, Blaney leads the way in the championship standings in the Truck Series, on the strength of seven top-fives and nine top-10s through the 11 races, so far, in 2014.
Blaney made his Sprint Cup Series debut earlier this season at Kanssas Speedway, driving a No. 12 Ford for Team Penske. He finished inthe 27th position. To date, it has been his only Sprint Cup start.