Could Blaney be in a third Penske car come 2018?

Since joining Team Penske in 2012, Ryan Blaney has never wandered far from the mother ship.

Could Blaney be in a third Penske car come 2018?
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford, Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Despite being on loan to the Wood Brothers, it was always expected Blaney would return to fold. Lately, the buzz surrounding Blaney’s status for 2018 has been amplified particularly since his performance has picked up significantly over the last year.

On Wednesday, Blaney joined Claire B. Lang on SiriusXM NASCAR to discuss his situation, notably the talk that he might move under the Penske roof next season.

“That’s something that I’ve heard ever since I got to Team Penske,” Blaney said. “They want to start a third team and they’re just waiting on the right time to do it. I’ve been really lucky to be with such a great team like that--them giving me my shot in 2012 and being with them ever since. Even though I drive the Wood Brothers car, I’m still with the Penske group.

“If you think about this Wood Brothers car, it’s almost like a third Penske car. We get a lot of information from them and we’re really close the two other cars. But I know that’s been floating around a little bit in the media world the past week or so. Like I said, that’s always been kind of — I don't want to say, ‘the goal’ — but that’s always been put in my ear a little bit. We’ve never been able to lock it down or get the timing right. That’s always open. It’s just a matter of putting it together and I don’t know when that will be.”

Wood Brothers success

Blaney has blossomed during his association with the Jeremy Bullins-led No. 21 Motorcraft Ford team. Since starting the season with a second-place finish in the Daytona 500, Blaney has maintained a presence in the top 15 in the Monster Energy Cup standings. His average qualifying effort of 10th and 233 laps led rank seventh on the tour in both categories.

Although consecutive crashes at Richmond and Talladega, along with mechanical failures in the last two races, have hampered his progress, Blaney remains 13th in points.

“Honestly, I’m having so much fun with the Wood Brothers, “ Blaney said. “It’s been really special for me to drive for those guys. To be with two great teams — with the Penske group and the Wood Brothers — that’s really special.

“I’m not really worried about that other stuff. I’m trying to get our season back on track and get the Wood Brothers their 99th and 100th win. That would be really special to do, and we’re going to try to get that done for them.”

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