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TBT: Ryan Blaney Wins Pocono for First Cup Win

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In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we relive Ryan Blaney’s first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win.

The win which came at Pocono in this very race last year was well received by both fans and those involved in the sport.

Many have said Blaney is one of the drivers with a very bright future in NASCAR and that was on full display during the Pocono 400.

The now 24-year old wheeled his way to victory lane for the Wood Brothers Racing’s first win since Trevor Bayne’s thrilling win in the 2011 Daytona 500.

After a late caution, Blaney lined up second with 13 to go after pitting. He was able to pass 2015 series champion Kyle Busch who chose to stay out.

Busch dominated the race but after a fierce restart Blaney was able to make the pass for the lead and hold off a charging Kevin Harvick during the final 10 laps.

“We did it. You know, we did it with the Wood brothers and they deserve it. It’s been so fun to be part of this team. It’s been unreal to have a chance to race for them and hear their stories and to do it at a place like this, Blaney said.”

Blaney worked hard for his first MENCS win, and it wasn’t just holding Harvick off. The young driver had to do it without radio communication with his crew chief. Blaney’s radio failed about 40 laps into the race.

“You know, the old hand on the door for — was it tight, hand on the door? Door is tight, roof was loose, thumb up, thumb down if it was good or not or keyed the mic — because they could hear the mic key. They just couldn’t hear me.”

His crew chief, Jeremy Bullins explained there was a lot of Morse code involved in the way they communicated for the remainder of the race.

“It’s definitely something I’ve never had happen before, but luckily, I could hear them, and we were able to work something out, Blaney said after the race.”

Blaney got his break in NASCAR driving in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing throughout parts of four seasons starting in 2012.

In 2012, Blaney went on to compete part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Roger Penske. At the time Team Penske was only a two-car operation in the Cup Series. It was decided Blaney would drive the No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers starting in 2015 with the teams having an alliance.

In addition to his one victory in the MENCS thus far, Blaney has 7 wins in the NXS and 4 wins in the NCWTS.

Blaney will look to go for back-to-back wins in the Pocono 400 from Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

When the MENCS returned to Pocono last July, Blaney didn’t have the results he had hoped for finishing in the 30th position.

However, in his previous two cup starts at the track in 2016 he had finishes of 10th (June) and 11th (July) with an average finish of 13.00.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah Handy is a NASCAR writer. You can find her on Twitter at @SarahHandy85. A college student studying Communications/Public Relations Field and an Electronics Associate at Walmart. Sarah enjoys tweeting about racing, running, reading, puzzles, video games, and photography. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah avidly follows all major New England Teams (Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins & Celtics) as well as a huge fan of what she considers her “home track” New Hampshire Motor Speedway which she attends each year.

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