Former NASCAR Star Explains Why Ryan Blaney Can Be a Strong Contender In the 2021 Cup Series

November 15, 2020 11:35 pm

With the 2020 Cup Series season done and dusted, experts looked back to see the standout drivers. According to Jeff Burton, he had a lot of faith in Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney. He said, “I said it all year long, I thought Ryan Blaney was the guy. He did show up in the Playoffs, but too late. Every time you looked up there, he was sitting there, running 2nd/3rd/4th.”

According to Burton, Blaney didn’t always have the fastest Penske car. However, he is sure that the off-season will allow the team to re-invigorate itself and the driver to gain more confidence. This is why Burton believed that the Penske team could be a dark horse in the 2020 season.

However, he insisted that they needed to use everything in their arsenal to extract the best out of the cars. Burton insists that the Team Penske outfit has a lot of speed, so he will keep an eye on them.

Is Ryan Blaney up to the task of proving Burton right?

Looking at the driver from a statistical standpoint, Blaney has racked up four wins in his NASCAR career. Three of those wins came with Team Penske and one of them came in the 2020 season. That solitary 2020 win came at the Talladega Superspeedway in the regular season.

Sep 6, 2020; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) and Ryan Blaney (12) race during the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Blaney has also bagged 76 top 10 finishes and six pole positions in his NASCAR Cup Series tenure. His best-ever finish in a season was 7th place in the 2019 season, also with Team Penske. Considering the fact that Ryan Blaney has been in the Top 10 for majority of the races in the 2020 season, Burton’s endorsement is not unfounded.

So the big question is, can he challenge for the title in 2021 or improve his championship standing? Jeff Burton clearly believes that the 26-year old has the talent and the car under him, to do so.

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