Heading into the 2020 NASCAR season, there were questions about driver Ryan Blaney. The 26-year-old was in the final season of his contract with Team Penske. The situation has since changed now that Blaney's team has awarded him with a multi-year extension.
The deal was announced on Friday as Blaney and his fellow drivers prepared for the FanShield 500 in Phoenix. The terms of the deal were not revealed in the press release.
"Ryan is a true talent with a long runway ahead of him and we are excited to have him as part of the future of Team Penske," team founder Roger Penske said, per NASCAR.com. "Since joining our team, Ryan has developed into a championship-caliber driver and his personality and engagement with fans has made him a terrific ambassador for NASCAR.
"In addition, Ryan has done a great job of working with our partners to support their activation and investment throughout each year. I am looking forward to even more success together."
Blaney is currently leading in points after nearly securing victories during the first three races. He was the runner-up during the season-opening Daytona 500. Blaney was in the lead during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but a caution derailed the final few laps. Blaney finished in 11th.
Blaney was in position for another top finish during the Auto Club 400. He was in second place with five laps remaining, but a tire issue forced him to the pits with three laps remaining. Blaney finished the Auto Club 400 in 19th place.
"Even though we pretty much had a full year left on our deal before my current one was up, I was really happy with where I was at," Blaney said to reporters on Friday. "I love the people I'm around, I love working with all the teams. … I feel like I owe so much to Roger for what he's done for me. I just didn't really see myself right now anywhere else.
"Yeah, there's a couple doors open, a couple seats open with other teams, but I didn't talk to any other teams. If I was approached by another team I don't know if I'd even want to talk to them because I was so happy where I was at. I'm so loyal to Roger. My mindset was if they'll have me back, I'd love to be back. It was great that both of our minds set on that."0comments
Blaney is the only NASCAR driver to lead laps in all three races this season, and he secured a stage win during the Auto Club 400. He has been performing for Team Penske and has been rewarded with an extension. Now he will focus on securing victories instead of worrying about a pending contract status.
(Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)