Tha Sports Junkies 101

Blaney looks to Punch Ticket to Championship 4 at Texas

Photo by Leon Hammack via Flickr


This weekend, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. Entering this weekend, if you’re looking for a darkhorse pick, look no further than second-year driver Ryan Blaney. Blaney looks to improve on his run in this year’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, where he finished 12th.

While he only finished 12th in this year’s spring race, just looking at his finish would not tell the whole story. Blaney led the field for 148 laps and won the race’s first two stages. It was only an incident with Corey LaJoie that derailed him from the track to victory. LaJoie who was several laps down significantly slowed down Blaney during a sequence of green flag pit stops. This led to Blaney then door slamming LaJoie a lap later which did not help his cause in the race.

During the spring, Blaney clearly had the best car in the field. If he has the same caliber car this weekend, he could cause issues to many Playoff brackets. With the way the 21 car has been performing the last few weeks, it could very well happen. Blaney started last at Kansas en route to a third-place finish, and finished eighth last week at Martinsville. That eighth place finish also could have been better as he was on the way to a top-5 before the last-lap mayhem that occurred.

So with Blaney seemingly being on a hot streak entering a track he has performed well at in the past, look for him to be up front.