Blaney Family Reunion
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on May 8, 2014 | 2:52 P.M. EST
Ryan Blaney and Dave Blaney are looking to be the first father/son pair to race against each other in a Sprint Cup race since 2005. (Photo: Getty Images)
It wasn’t the best of weeks last week for Ryan Blaney, but this weekend offers a new opportunity and the chance to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut.
The 20-year-old Blaney will compete in Friday night’s Camping World Truck race at Kansas Speedway and is entered in a third Team Penske entry for Saturday night’s Cup race.
Should he and his father, Dave, make Saturday’s race, it will mark the first time since 2005 that a father has raced against his son in Cup. The last father/son duo to to run in a Cup race together was Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr. at Atlanta.
Making the Cup race would ease the sting from last weekend’s Nationwide race at Talladega for Ryan Blaney. That race was memorable for the wrong reasons. He was involved in a couple of incidents, including one in the final laps when as he battled eventual winner Elliott Sadler for the lead.
“I made a bad mistake at Talladega,’’ Ryan Blaney said. “I was just trying to do too many things at once. Unfortunately, you mess up. That’s something hard to bear. You never want to be a cause of a wreck. I got a lot of hate for it on social media.
“Leading up to this week, it is going to be such a big weekend for us I had to put that in my rearview (mirror). I tried to forget about. By Monday, I finally put it behind me. I’ve had a lot of drivers and even Mr. (Roger) Penske tell me that stuff happens and you’ve got to move on from it. I apologize for wrecking so many cars.’’
While the Truck series resumes after a month off, the focus for many will be on Blaney’s Cup debut and racing his father.
They’ve raced together once in NASCAR - at last year’s Camping World Truck race at Eldora. They were teammates for Brad Keselowski Racing. Dave Blaney finished ninth, and Ryan Blaney placed 15th.
Ryan Blaney said he raced against his dad in a dirt modified race last summer and beat him at the finish.
“We were side-by-side off (Turn) 4, and we just edged him out,’’ Ryan Blaney said. “It’s a whole bunch of fun racing family members. It’s the most competitive you’ll ever run, and the hardest you’ll ever race because you want to beat that person. It would be really cool to be on that list of fathers and sons to run a Cup race.’’
Ryan Blaney, who is fourth in the Truck standings, is looking forward to the Cup race.
“You’re just antsy for it to happen,’’ he said. “Hopefully it goes well. This is where every kid wants to be who grew up watching NASCAR and watching his dad race everything. You wait your whole life for this opportunity and you definitely have to make the most of it.’’
As for his goals in Saturday’s 5-hour ENERGY 400?
“You hope you just to get experience and run all 400 miles and not do anything foolish,’’ Ryan Blaney said. “That’s the worst thing you can do as a rookie - make a huge mistake in your debut, wreck a car or have a good run going and speed on pit road and ruin your run.’’
Blaney says that Keselowski and Joey Logano have helped him better understand Cup cars because they’re “so different than anything we drive from a Truck to a Nationwide car. It’s been big for them to help me out and be able to teach me what these things are like on pit stops and in the garage in going from the practice to the race. Hopefully, we can have a solid run, no mistakes.’’
Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of Friday's SFP 250 Camping World Truck Series race presented by Keystone Light from Kansas Speedway at 8 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.
Motor Racing Network – "The Voice of NASCAR" – will have live coverage of Saturday's 5-hour ENERGY 400 from Kansas Speedway at 6:30 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.