Emerging NASCAR talent Ryan Blaney, who won his first Nationwide Series race last weekend in Kentucky, confirmed Wednesday he has talked to other teams in the NASCAR garage about his future. But for the rest of 2013, he’s committed to Penske Racing.
“Well, there has been very, very little talks with other teams, but right now my loyalty is to Penske Racing and finishing out this 2013 season very strong, either in that Nationwide car, if I get another race, or finishing out the Truck season very strong for Brad Keselowski Racing,” the son of Dave Blaney said in a teleconference Wednesday.
“Just really focused on that right now, and then in the offseason, we’ll see what doors open up or if we progress here with Penske like planned. So we’ll find out here in the coming months, but right now my loyalty is to Penske and finishing out this 2013 season very strong.”
Blaney is rumored to be in play for Furniture Row Racing’s vacant No. 78 Chevrolet for 2014. Blaney doesn’t turn 20 until December 31, and is just completing his first season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Penske driver Keselowski’s team.
He rates his first Truck win as more special than his first Nationwide win.
“Nothing is ever going to really beat that first win you get in NASCAR ever, but it was very close, winning with a new group of guys,” he said. “That group of guys, I was with a lot at the end of 2012 when I ran that 22 car about seven or eight races while Brad was focused on the Championship. So I got to know those guys very well. Getting to know Jeremy (Bullins, crew chief) a lot that last year and over this offseason, he’s improved so much. He’s really given that car what it needs.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.