Ryan Blaney had a breakout season in 2017 as he won his first career Cup Series race and made it all the way to the Round of 8 in the playoffs.
Blaney is moving on from Wood Brothers Racing and will drive a third car for Team Penske in 2018, and he’s leaving one iconic number behind while bringing back another. Last year, Blaney drove the No. 21 car. Now, he’s bringing back the No. 12, which Davey Allison and Ryan Newman drove to a combined 38 wins.
“Just bringing back the [No.] 12 car to the Penske group is really special,” Blaney said according to ESPN. “The car [number] hasn’t been around in a long time. I remember growing up watching Ryan Newman drive it and loving that car. Hopefully we can have the success he had in it and more.”
Blaney’s car has a different look this season, and he also has a different look as he trimmed his hair and shaved his mustache to fall in line with the stricter, “very professional” Team Penske. But the 24-year-old is expecting a bigger season and hopes to be more consistent this year.
“It could be a defining year, for sure,” Blaney said. “The third year, you should be winning at least a couple of races a year in the equipment we’re in. Hopefully we can make that happen. I think it is going to be a big stepping stone.”
Team Penske now has Blaney, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, which should make them one of the top Cup Series teams in the sport. Now, it’s up to Blaney to continue producing at a high level and contend for the championship for Team Penske in 2018.