Wood Brothers Racing announced on Thursday that Ryan Blaney will run at least 12 Sprint Cup Series in 2015 behind the wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. WBR also announced that they have formed a technical alliance with Team Penske; Blaney has been under a developmental driver contract with Team Penske since 2012.
“Wood Brothers Racing is excited to align with Roger Penske and his team and we couldn’t be more pleased to put Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Ford Fusion,” Eddie and Len Wood, co-owners of Wood Brothers Racing, in a joint statement, said. “Ryan is a third-generation racer and one of the best young drivers out there. He has been a winner in many different kinds of cars since he started racing at a very young age and we fully expect that to continue while he is with us.”
Their partnership will begin this weekend with Blaney practicing and qualifying the No. 21 Ford this weekend at Michigan International Speedway while Trevor Bayne is running the Natiownide Series event at Mid-Ohio. Bayne will run the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan on Sunday, starting from the rear of the field.
Blaney is currently running the full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for Brad Keselowski Racing and leads the standings. He is also running a limited number of Nationwide Series races this year for Penske.
“I want to thank Wood Brothers Racing, Team Penske, Ford Racing and everyone at Motorcraft and Quick Lane for the opportunity to race next season in the Sprint Cup Series,” Blaney said. “To get a chance to race at the top level of NASCAR in such a historic car as the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion is a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to 2015.”
Blaney is scheduled to make his official debut for WBR in the 2015 Daytona 500. He will race for the team in events at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others.
“We’re confident that putting a promising driver like Ryan Blaney behind the wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, and joining forces on the technical side with Team Penske, will result in success on and off the track,” Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division, Wood Brothers Racing’s primary sponsor, said. “Ryan is a fine young man, and he will represent our Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands well.”
WBR also stated in their press release that Blaney will be running a Team Penske Mustang next year in the Nationwide Series – in which Team Penske executive Tim Cindric stated that Blaney’s involvement with the team in 2015 looks to be the same as he has done this past season.
“It’s probably a little early to speculate too far on that. As I sit here today, I think our Nationwide program will be somewhat similar to what we’ve done this year, where the 22 car is shared throughout our organization, including Ryan,” Cindric said. So I don’t see that changing too much at this point in time, but it might be a little early.”