Motorsport News

Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney Victory Droughts Loom Large

NASCAR Cup Series

Did You Notice? … There’s a whole lot of really talented drivers who haven’t won a NASCAR Cup Series race lately?

Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin have reminded us of how quickly the droughts can pile up these last two weeks. Truex, the 2017 Cup champion, ended his 54-race winless streak at Dover Motor Speedway while Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, snapped his drought at 33 this past weekend at Kansas Speedway (May 7).

Hamlin’s victory leaves rookie Ty Gibbs as the lone current Toyota driver to go winless since Kansas last fall. But the sport’s other two manufacturers find themselves chock-full of top talent still fighting to earn another shot at victory lane.

Here’s some of the notable ongoing streaks among the sport’s full-time contingent.

Ryan Blaney (58 Races)

Blaney, of course, earned a $1 million bonus for winning the sport’s All-Star Race exhibition last May at Texas Motor Speedway. But that’s been it for a driver stuck on seven wins despite being consistently labeled one of NASCAR’s top young talents.

Let’s look at how that win total compares to other drivers who have entered the sport since Blaney’s first full-time year in 2016.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who puts Bowman, often labeled fourth on the totem pole at Hendrick Motorsports, on the same level as Blaney in terms of talent. But in some ways, Bowman’s track record is better than Blaney’s as he spent two of his full-time seasons in equipment incapable of winning, running underfunded programs struggling to simply finish inside the top 30.

Bowman has four wins in a season; Blaney’s never had more than three. Even his career-best points finish (sixth, 2020) edges out Blaney, who’s wound up seventh in the final standings three times.

There’s plenty of other promising talent ready to knock Blaney further back if he isn’t careful. Byron already has more poles (10) than Blaney’s nine and led more laps in a single season (746 in 2022) than anyone on this list besides Elliott.

Bell, meanwhile, has the Championship 4 appearance Blaney covets along with wins on three track types: dirt, road courses and short tracks. And let’s not forget Toyota teammate Tyler Reddick, who’s won four times within the last year and is well-positioned to lead the charge at 23XI Racing going forward.

It doesn’t help that Blaney has some of his…

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