2020 Season in Review: Ryan Blaney

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Chris Estrada
·2 min read
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Ryan Blaney

CREW CHIEF: Todd Gordon

TEAM: Team Penske

POINTS: Ninth in NASCAR Cup Series

WINS: One (Talladega I)

LAPS LED: 668

TOP 5s: 11

TOP 10s: 17

POLES: One (Martinsville I)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Entering 2020, Blaney was one of the biggest names on the NASCAR free agent market. But less than a month into the season, Team Penske signed him to a multi-year extension that will keep him in the fold for the foreseeable future.

Blaney enjoyed two particularly strong runs of performance. His wild overtime win at Talladega Superspeedway capped off an early spring run of six top-five finishes in seven races. And following his first-round exit in the playoffs, Blaney posted five consecutive finishes of seventh or better to close out the year.

Additionally, while Blaney earned only four stage wins, he still scored the most stage points of any driver in the Cup Series with 346 (series champion Chase Elliott was second in stage points with 310).

WHAT WENT WRONG: Blaney’s hopes for a deep playoff run were derailed immediately in the opener at Darlington Raceway. An improperly mounted ballast was discovered on his car during pre-race inspection, and the subsequent penalty cost him 10 points. He then fell to the bottom of the playoff standings after finishing 24th in the race.

The setbacks were too much to overcome, and Blaney was one of the first four drivers eliminated from the post-season at Bristol Motor Speedway.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2021: Considering his hot streak to end 2020, and that teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano both made the Championship 4, Blaney isn’t lacking for motivation as he prepares for 2021. NASCAR America’s Jeff Burton named Blaney as his driver to watch in what’s shaping up to be an intriguing year in the Cup Series.

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2020 Season in Review: Ryan Blaney originally appeared on NBCSports.com