Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott are the only two drivers left in the playoff field who are in the postseason for the first time, and both drivers have already been involved in feuds thus far.
Elliott is involved in an ongoing feud with Denny Hamlin after Hamlin wrecked him last week at Martinsville, while Blaney and Kevin Harvick had a heated exchange following the race after Harvick didn’t like some of Blaney’s racing tactics.
Blaney told reporters ahead of Sunday’s playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway that it’s important for the young drivers not to let the veterans push them around.
“You know, I think you go through a little bit of hazing just like any sport or series when you come in and you’re a rookie and he’s running great in the playoffs and contending for a bunch of wins,” Blaney said. “We’ve been pretty strong. They’ve been a little faster than we are.
“But I do believe we have to stand up for ourselves and not get shoved around. There’s a respect you have to show, I respect really every one of the drivers we’re racing against right now, but you can’t pushed around because it’s just not going to stop if you let it happen. You’ve got to be respectful, but at the same time you’re not just going to let someone push you around, you have to stand up for yourself.”
Blaney has two races to try and advance into the final four at Homestead, and he’s been one of the most consistent drivers this postseason despite not having any wins in the playoffs.
A win in the next two races would guarantee him a spot in the final four. Otherwise, it might be tough for him to advance. But either way, Blaney has had a very successful season despite only being a few years into his career.