Ryan Blaney may be the newest — and youngest — member of the Penske Racing empire, but he’s already showing the presence of mind of a veteran.
Blaney, 19, will run in the Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing and part-time for Penske in the Nationwide Series, joining Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, two-Cup race winner Joey Logano and three-time IndyCar Series and Nationwide race winner Sam Hornish Jr.
Blaney, who speaks in a deep voice that covers his youth, opened his remarks during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday night by lauding his teammates.
Sitting on stage at Penske Racing flanked by men with impressive career resumes, he discussed the men, including Penske team owner Roger Penske and executive vice president Walt Czarnecki, surrounding him.
“First off, when I look back here and I realize that I’m sitting with a Cup champion, Joey Logano with everything he’s done, being the youngest winner and everything, an Indy 500 champion, a multi-time Indy 500 champion and Walt and everything he’s done for this company. I’m kind of shocked that I’m up here,” he started.
Then he was interrupted by the master of ceremony, who mused that he couldn’t help but wondering where Blaney was a year ago.
Keselowski was quick to pipe up his thoughts on the matter.
“Chuck E. Cheese,” he said.
As everyone began laughing, Logano — who was 18 when he debuted in NASCAR four years ago — offered some solace.
“I remember those jokes,” he said to Blaney. “They eventually go out.”
Blaney took the gentle ribbing all in stride.
“I’ve just got to roll with them, right?” he said.