Team Preview: Wood Brothers Racing

Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney is returning to the storied Wood Brothers for his sophomore season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Ryan Blaney is returning to the storied Wood Brothers for his sophomore season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Blaney finished 20th in last year’s point standings on the strength of three top fives and nine top-10 finishes. Although he came up short in his bid for a first career Cup win, the young driver believes that and a spot in the playoffs are now realistic goals.

"There are a lot of things we've looked at and improved," Blaney said. "We'll be strong and getting a full season in last year is huge. This was a pretty new team when we started it last year."

Team co-owner Eddie Wood was proud of the effort turned in by Blaney and the No. 21 team. Like his driver, Wood thinks there are better days ahead.

"We had a relationship with Ryan before he became our full-time driver, so that made things easier," Wood said. "As it is with any young driver, experience is the key and he has that from last year to build on."

Wood Brothers Racing is continuing its relationship with Team Penske, working out of new headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. The team leased a charter from Go Fas Racing that will ensure Blaney has a starting spot in every race.

"The preparation before you even get to the track is key," Blaney said. "As drivers, we can only do so much about that. Then, trying to give the best information you can throughout the weekend and on race day is essential.

"I spent a lot of time in the off-season trying to do just that - communicating with engineers and the crew chief. I've been trying to understand these cars more. Some of those changes are the biggest ones we've made, hopefully for the better."

Daytona International Speedway will open for NASCAR teams on Friday, Feb. 17, with the season-opening Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 26. Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of "The Great American Race" beginning at 1 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.

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