Blaney to race partial Sprint Cup schedule for Wood Brothers Racing

BY Tom Jensen • August 14, 2014

Wood Brothers Racing announces today that it has formed a technical alliance with Team Penske and will race a partial-season schedule in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with up-and-coming driver Ryan Blaney.

Blaney, who has raced as a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will compete in at least 12 races for Wood Brothers Racing next season in the iconic No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as he continues his rapid NASCAR development.

"Wood Brothers Racing is excited to align with Roger Penske and his team and we Ryan Blaney, one of the sport's young rising stars, will move up to the big leagues next year when will drive a partial-season schedule for Wood Brothers Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As part of the deal, NASCAR's oldest team will form a technical alliance with Team Penske.

Blaney, a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will turn 21 in December but already has an impressive racing resume. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Blaney has two race victories and 17 top fives in 42 starts, while he has one victory, five top fives and 16 top 10s in just 23 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. In his only career Cup start, Blaney qualified 21st and finished 27th in a third Penske Ford at Kansas Speedway earlier this year.

According to a team release issued Thursday, Blaney will drive the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion in "at least" 12 races next year. He will replace the team's current driver, Trevor Bayne, who next year will race full time with Roush Fenway Racing.

This weekend, Blaney will practice and qualify the No. 21 at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway while Bayne competes in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bayne will race the No. 21 on Sunday.

Blaney is slated to run the Daytona 50 next year for the Wood Brothers. Other races on his schedule include the July Daytona night race, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others.

Next year, Blaney also will drive a Team Penske Mustang in the 2015 Nationwide Series.

Although the Wood Brothers team races part-time now, the list of drivers who have driven for them since 1950 is impressive, even historic. Glen Wood, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, Bill Elliott and Bayne who won the Daytona 500 with the Wood Brothers in 2011, have all piloted the No. 21. As a team the Wood Brothers have won 98 Cup races.

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