Ryan Blaney to join Team Penske in 2018
Ryan Blaney will move to Team Penske and drive a third Cup car for that organization, the team announced Wednesday.
Blaney will drive the No. 12 Ford in 2018 and has signed a multi-year contract extension. Tim Cindric, president of Team Penske, said Wednesday afternoon that the plan is for crew chief Jeremy Bullins join Blaney in his move to Team Penske.
“For some time now, we have wanted to bring Ryan in to run a third car for us, but things just needed to make sense from a timing and business perspective,” said team owner Roger Penske. “We have been working on making this a reality and 2018 is the right opportunity to make this move and return our organization to a three-car team. The benefits of having three full-time teams under our roof, along with the continued technical partnership with the Wood Bothers, will help us remain competitive in the ever-changing NASCAR landscape.”
MORE: Paul Menard to take over Wood Brothers ride in 2018
Blaney, who won at Pocono in June, is 12th in the standings. He has seven top-10 finishes in 20 starts this season.
“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career,” said Blaney, a third-generation driver from High Point, North Carolina, in a statement. “I’ve always enjoyed racing whatever car I was in and trying to win each and every race. I’ve had some great moments with both Team Penske and the Wood Brothers over the last few years. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am today without Roger (Penske), Eddie and Len (Wood) and the opportunities their organizations have given me. I’m thrilled knowing that Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano) are long-term teammates for me at Team Penske and Paul (Menard) will have input with our team now that he’s with the Wood Brothers organization. Hopefully we can go out there and win races and compete for championships year after year.”
The 23-year-old Blaney first signed with Team Penske in 2012. He has raced for Wood Brothers Racing, which is aligned with Team Penske, since 2015. He ran about half the 2015 season and has done the full season the past two years for the organization.
This marks the first time since 2010 that Team Penske has fielded three full-time entries. It did so that season with Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.
With adding a third car, Team Penske will need to acquire a charter for that car.