Where Ryan Blaney Holds an Advantage Over the Likes of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott in 2021 NASCAR Season

Published 01/17/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Kansas City, Kansas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) leads Joey Logano (22) and Ryan Blaney (12) and Brad Keselowski (2) during the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports


In 2020, Kevin Harvick seemed to be the favorite to win the Cup Series title. Nine wins during the season were definitive proof of his dominance. Unfortunately, circumstances did not work in his favor and he lost out on a second Cup title.

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Despite that, he has led the Ford charge and taken the fight to Chevrolet and Toyota. In the process, he seized victory in 18 of the last 100 races, the most of any Cup driver. The closest driver to him was Brad Keselowski, with 10 wins under his belt.
However, Penske driver Ryan Blaney has ruled the roost in terms of one particular statistic. As it turns out, the 27-year-old managed to score 346 stage points throughout the season. Meanwhile, Harvick’s nine wins could only take him so far in the points tally. Apparently, he only accumulated 290 stage points, which is a country mile behind Blaney’s tally.

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Even Chase Elliott had lesser stage points than Blaney all season.

How did Ryan Blaney best Kevin Harvick?

Officially speaking, Blaney managed to finish in the top two in the second stage on at least 11 occasions. Later on, it would transpire that he would ultimately end up in the top five in six of those races, with only one win.

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PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 09: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick finished in the top two of the second stage in seven races. From there, he managed to convert five of those to victory at the checkered flag.
Now, Blaney is acutely aware that he needs to carry his Stage 2 momentum through the final stage. So far, he has picked up just four wins in his NASCAR career. This includes his win at the 2020 race at Talladega during the GEICO 500.

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Without a doubt, the Penske driver will try his hardest to improve that statistic and amass more wins. While the 346 stage point tally may be comforting, Blaney wants the main prize of a Cup Series title.

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Dhruv George

11300 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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