Last September, Ryan Blaney penned his name in the history books in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
In only his third start in the series, the then 18-year-old driver from High Point, N.C., captured the checkered flag at Iowa Speedway.
This Friday, he returns to the 0.875-mile track to defend his victory in the American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen. To say Blaney, who is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Dave Blaney, isn't excited upon the series' return to the Hawkeye state would be a huge understatement.
"This date couldn't have come sooner. I've been waiting to get back to Iowa in the Truck Series ever since I left there last September victorious," said Blaney. "Our team has really buckled down over the past month and my confidence is at an all-time high."
Going into the ninth race of the season, Blaney is tied with Johnny Sauter for fifth in the standings, 47 points behind leader Matt Crafton.
In the last three races, Blaney has finishes of third, eighth and fifth. In fact, out of the eight races the trucks have run this year, he's finished outside the top 10 only twice (16th at Martinsville and 25th at Charlotte).
In last year's victory, he started on the outside of the front row, next to polesitter Parker Kligerman. It wasn't until lap 151, however, that Blaney took his first lead of the race after passing Sauter. Blaney remained in the lead for the final 50 laps to become the youngest race winner in series history at 18 years, five months and 15 day old.
Blaney drove the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing RAM last season and gave the team its first win. If he wins again Friday night, he would give BKR its second win and Ford its first win at Iowa Speedway.