18 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Ryan Blaney

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

9th Place – Ryan Blaney – 2336 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

14 Times – Ryan Blaney had a solid 2020 season by most metrics.  Being a part of one of the premiere teams, Team Penske, certainly helps.  Blaney’s teammates often end up generating more buzz, resulting in Ryan Blaney sometimes being seen as the weakest link on Team Penske.  However, of the 36 races in 2020, Blaney finished as the worst driver of the three Team Penske drivers only 14 times.  Not only that, but he was the best Team Penske driver 11 times.  It seems the load is fairly evenly split between all three drivers.

 

89 Places Lost in 2020 – In 2020, Ryan Blaney’s average starting spot was 11th, but his average finish was 13.83, which means he finished an average of 2.47 spots worse than he started.  When extrapolated over the entire season, Blaney lost 89 places – which ranked him 29th of all drivers in 2020.

 

4th Career Win – While the point was made above that Ryan Blaney possibly flies under the radar, it is still hard to believe that he only has 4 career wins under his belt.  Also strange is that he’s never had a season with more than one win.  2020’s win came at the first Talladega race in June.  Always in the hunt for a win, Ryan Blaney did have 11 Top 5s in 2020, but will hope to break through the one-win-per-season barrier this year.

 

590 Fastest Laps – Ranking 5th of all the drivers in 2020, Blaney racked up 590 laps where he was the fastest on the track.  Driving for Team Penske, one of the top teams in the sport, that should come as no surprise.  What is surprising, is that despite finishing last of the 3 Team Penske drivers, he beat both teammates Brad Keselowski (527 fast laps) and Joey Logano (406 fast laps) in this department.

 

18.08 Average Finish @ Talladega – Despite some recent success at Talladega, including back-to-back wins from 2019 to 2020, Ryan Blaney’s career average finish there is much higher than you might anticipate.  At 18.08, that ranks him 15th among the active 2020 drivers.

 

Ryan Blaney has signed a multi-year extension with Team Penske and will return to the No. 12 Ford in 2021.  Team Penske is often a front-runner and can always be counted on to bring the speed – we’ll see if Blaney is up to the task.

 

Coming up in two days – Kyle Busch

 

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