2023 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Ryan Blaney, stopped by The Bobby Bones Show for the first time to talk about all things racing, experiencing car accidents on the track, what happens when your car catches on fire and more!
Blaney comes from a racing family. His father raced in the ‘80s and ‘90s and became a NASCAR driver when he was 35. His grandfather was a dirt racer from Ohio. Growing up, he was around it all the time and felt a natural passion for it. He got involved in racing at a young age, and because his father never pushed him to do anything he didn’t want to, Blaney never experienced burn out. He does feel like he had the racing gene and some of his skills are genetic, but he always learned and applied himself to get better. He was fortunate to see it at a young age and understand the inner workings of the spots, and having his dad there to teach him about it more was a huge advantage. Growing up, his number was always 10. But when Penske sponsored him, they told him he’d be number 12 since they own that number.
NASCAR super fan, Morgan #1, came to the studio to interview Blaney. She asked if since the pit crew does all the work on the driver's car, if any of the drivers actually knew how to change a flat tire. He shared that he thinks 95% of the drivers could do it with no problem if they really needed to but would call AAA more for the convenance of it. Morgan #1 also asked about the scary side of racing, the wrecks. Blaney has experienced a few wrecks on the track and has been in a few himself. He’s also been on fire a few times. Thankfully, their suits are pretty decent and flame proof for about 20 seconds. Drivers understand wrecks are part of the job and that their cars are designed to handle the impact and get them out safely.
Blaney does not hold grudges and does not wish to fight with any of the other drivers. He was voted the #1 most likeable driver by the NASCAR fan base and hopes to keep that title. In 2018, he started the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation which works with the Alzheimer's Association and UPMC. It is a cause that close to him because his grandfather had it and it was tough to watch. He hopes the foundation offers support for those affected!