Blaney’s first title – secured in last November’s season finale at Phoenix – was the second consecutive for Penske and fourth overall. Joey Logano has won two while Brad Keselowski gave Penske his first Cup championship in 2012.
Already with a Hall of Fame filled resume of accolades, Penske, who turns 87 on Feb. 20, has been on a roll of late.
In addition to Blaney’s championship, Penske IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden won the Indianapolis 500 last May, Penske’s 19th Indy 500 victory. Just last month, Porsche Penske Motorsport won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the organization’s first Rolex 24 win in 55 years.
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Dutch Boy Ford Mustang, Roger Penske
Photo by: Rusty Jarrett / NKP / Motorsport Images
“Joey’s won a couple (Cup titles) there, I was just getting to the organization when Brad won his as well. I feel like I’ve done something really nice for the whole company, the organization and RP and everyone working there,” Blaney said Saturday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of Sunday’s preseason Busch Light Clash.
“You never want to say you feel validated in being there because everyone always believes in you, but it’s like a personal confidence booster. It’s nice to feel part of that group – the champion group that’s won for RP and stuff like that.
“It makes you feel a little better, a little more ‘certified’ in being there.”
Blaney, 30, has enjoyed a successful Cup career but his best championship effort prior to last season was seventh on two occasions.
Last year, the son of NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney used two timely wins in the 10-race playoff to earn his first appearance in the Championship 4 at Phoenix. He finished second in the season finale but best among the title contenders, holding Kyle Larson at bay in the final laps to earn the title.
“RP has had a big six months and really the past year – the (Coca-Cola) 600, the (Indy) 500, a Cup championship and now win at Daytona in the 24 Hours,” Blaney said.
“It’s nice to keep adding to the list. You want to add to those titles and wins and history for RP and that team.”
Being a champion
Asked what he considers the most enjoyable experience since collecting his Cup title at the awards banquet in Nashville, Tenn., in late November, Blaney said, “The neatest experience I think is sharing it with everybody that is also involved in it. It’s not just me – it’s hundreds of other…