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Meet Rising NASCAR Star Ryan Blaney Who Follows in His Famous Father Dave's Footsteps

Odette Odendaal
Jun 27, 2020
06:00 A.M.

Ryan Blaney raced himself into the books when he claimed the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway by inches on Monday. Now, he more than followed in his father Dave Blaney's footsteps; he surpassed them.

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It was a close call at Talledega Superspeedway when Blaney crossed the finish line first, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in second place, and Aric Almirola coming in for a third-place finish.

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RYAN'S FATHER

The win not only marked a highlight in Blaney's career, but also the moment he did what his father, Dave Blaney, never could - win a race. Dave turned 37 before making his full-time debut at the Nascar Cup series in 2000, and despite his 473 races at the level, he never won.

Even so, Ryan learned a lot for his father growing up in North Carolina after they moved there from Ohio when he was aged around six. Dave was a sprint car driver before he joined NASCAR and Ryan learned the value of hard work as he previously said:

“They were able to find ways to get to the racetrack that was just through hard work."

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WHEN RYAN STARTED RACING

Dave bought Ryan a go-cart around the time he was 8 or 9, but it wasn't until he reached his teenage years that the racing bug bit, and he ended up winning a lower-series race at the age of 17.

2011 was a good year for Ryan, who earned two top-10 finishes in the now ARCA Menards Series East races while also winning the lone K&N Pro Series West race that started that year as well.

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HE RACED HIS FATHER'S CAR

The following year, Ryan rolled out on the racetrack in his father's car owned by Tommy Baldwin Jr. to race in the Xfinity Series, wherein he eventually finished seventh.

While Ryan earned his first Darlington stripe in 2012, his long-lasting relationship with Pocono Raceway began the following year, along with his NASCAR Next appearance with Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace.

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HIS DEBUT IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES

However, Ryan only made his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Kansas Speedway in 2014, where he finished in 27th place for Team Penske.

Before kicking off this year, Ryan finished last year on a career-high with a seventh placement overall after he qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs for the third season in a row.

Bubba Wallace at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 20, 2019, in Loudon, New Hampshire. | Source: Getty Images.

Bubba Wallace at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 20, 2019, in Loudon, New Hampshire. | Source: Getty Images.

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NASCAR IN THE NEWS

Before the race at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday, controversy ensued after on of Bubba Wallace's teammates found a noose hanging in their designated garage.

A swift investigation followed after NASCAR was made aware of the situation. The FBI since concluded that it was not a hate crime as the rope hung there since last year and no one had any way of knowing that Wallace would use the garage in the future.

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