Ryan Blaney gave country star Cole Swindell one fast ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway
On Wednesday, Blaney gave Swindell a ride around CMS and talked a little about his move this season over to Team Penske.
Blaney was at CMS on Wednesday to help promote the NASCAR All-Star race coming up on May 19. Swindell, a longtime NASCAR fan who attended his first race at Charlotte, has collected seven No. 1 country music hits in his career and will perform the pre-race concert before the All-Star race.
Blaney said he enjoyed giving his friend a ride around the track in his two-seater.
“I was about 90 percent there,” Blaney said. “It was fun. It’s the first time I’ve given a ride to a friend of mine. I think that made me I go a little bit harder,” he said.
“I love the music industry. I’m a big fan of (Swindell’s) and I appreciate how hard those guys work to get to where they are. He’s such a big fan of racing, too, so it’s cool to support him and have his support, too.”
The ride with Swindell was a first for Blaney even though he’s given participated in several ride alongs throughout the country.
“I’ve given rides before especially with Brad’s (Keselowski) foundation with veterans, but I’ve never given a ride to someone I know personally,” Blaney added. “I guess that’s why I pushed it a little today.”
Blaney is off to a solid start in 2018 in his first year driving full-time for Team Penske in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He’s coming off of his first pole and top-five finish of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He led a race-high 118 laps in the Daytona 500 last month and sits third in the points standings.
The 24-year old driver is excited to compete this weekend at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.
“It will be the first short track we got and it’s cool that the Fords are off to a really strong start right now,” Blaney said. “The (No.) 4 car (of Kevin Harvick) is obviously really fast and I feel we’re pretty close behind and need to find just a little bit more.
“Phoenix will give us a good idea of how well our short track program has improved.”
Blaney also felt driving the Woods Brothers car the past couple of seasons and their technical alliance with Team Penske made his transition to the No. 12 car easier and seamless.
“Our cars from the last couple of years at the Wood Brothers are what I’m driving this year and we have a lot of the same personnel,” Blaney said. “Everyone knows each and trusts one another well and you want everyone to get along and work well together.”