Ryan Blaney already has become the 21st driver to win a race for Wood Brothers Racing this season behind the wheel of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, now he wants to join an even more elite group: Drivers who have won at Darlington Raceway for NASCAR’s longest-running team.
Should Blaney win this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sunday night, in addition to scoring the team’s 100 victory, he will join Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Neil Bonnett as drivers who have piloted the iconic No. 21 to victory lane at Darlington.
This is Blaney’s third run at the famous South Carolina track and has made steady improvements since his first Cup start there in 2015. In his inaugural start, driving a car covered in photos from the team’s storied history, he started 9th and finished in 30th. Last year, driving Pearson’s 1976 paint scheme, he started 20th, found himself two laps down late in the race but battled back to a respectable 13th-place finish.
For the 2017 NASCAR Throwback weekend at Darlington. Blaney and the Wood Brothers are paying tribute to the No. 21 Citgo Ford Thunderbird that Kyle Petty drove to victory in the 1987 Coca-Cola 600.
On the Throwback Weekend:
“I think Darlington has done a great job of implementing the throwback cars and crew members get involved with it. It’s always pretty neat. The fans show up in all their vintage attire, which is always cool to see. It’s one of my favorite weekends especially since they started doing this.”
On the 1987 Kyle Petty Paint Scheme:
“We’ve got Kyle Petty’s old scheme from the ‘80s, which I’m pretty excited to run. The car looks great. I’m looking forward to that. It’s always a nice event. It’s always nice to see some paint schemes from the past to make it a lot more fun.”
On Darlington Raceway Itself:
“It’s probably one of if not the most difficult track we go to just as far as length of the race, the track itself in general and the day-to-night changes things up. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong there and we seem to have found them the last couple of years. Hopefully we can be mistake free and have a good run.”
Ford Performance PR