While Ryan Blaney is totally embracing his role as the underdog in the Cup Series playoffs, he is still a little sick of hearing about it.
"I've heard that all week that we don't really deserve to be here, so that kind of ticked me off a little bit,'' Blaney said Friday after qualifying Via NBCSports.
"They just say we've been kind of overachieving or they didn't expect us to be here. Those little things kind of make you a little bit irritated because our guys do just as good a job as anybody. They deserve to be here. They work their tails off like anybody else. Hopefully, we can prove that Sunday.''
In an interview with Racer.com, Blaney was asked about being the underdog, and he explained why he likes that role.
"Yeah, I've heard people call us underdogs and things like that, and that doesn't really bother me at all," Blaney said. "I kind of like being that person. There isn't a lot of hype around you; you just have to go do your absolute best. When you're kind of a small team and you kind of overachieve, that says a lot. I like that. I like being the underdog. It makes for a better story, for sure, if you can accomplish big things."
Related: Here's why Ryan Blaney is starting last at Kansas
The point differential between Blaney, Johnson and Busch is slim, and the final two spots could be decided by stage points. If Blaney can secure another top five finish, he will certainly increase his chances of advancing to the next round.
Blaney won the first race of his career earlier this season, and he's one of the most talented young drivers in the sport. The season has already been a success for him, but advancing another round would be a remarkable accomplishment for the 23-year-old.
He will have a long way to go, however, since he will be starting from the back of the field after a penalty.