The NASCAR community has been talking about how Ryan Blaney needs to find a way to start winning at a more consistent rate since the close of the 2020 season. Getting his first win of the year only six races in is a great start to that goal, but we’re going to have to see where it goes from here.
With some upcoming races being the Bristol Dirt race, Martinsville, and Talladega, all tracks that Blaney runs well at, some fans believe he has a shot at winning another one in that span. While he does run very well at Martinsville and Talladega, I think some fans will be surprised that he’s not as prolific on dirt as some would expect.
The Blaney name has been around racing for many years starting back with Ryan’s grandfather Lou Blaney. Lou, his father Dave, and uncle Dale are all experienced dirt racers and that’s where they made their names at. Dave got his start in NASCAR thanks to his amazing dirt career and earning the nickname the Buckeye Bullet.
With the Blaney name having such a rich history in the dirt, it was just assumed that the latest generation of the family also cut their teeth on dirt tracks. Surprisingly enough, Ryan had admitted that his experience on dirt is very limited. Outside of a few one-off starts scattered throughout his younger years, he really has no experience on it.
By the time Ryan was old enough to start racing, Dave had already moved to North Carolina and began racing in NASCAR. With NASCAR always being the end goal for Ryan, it seems he never had any need nor desire to start on dirt; he jumped right into asphalt.
The only experience he has is his two Eldora truck starts where he finished 15th and 3rd, which is respectable. I think that Blaney obviously has second-hand experience and has picked up on certain things, but it’s still going to be interesting to see if dirt is really in his blood. Will he have a natural feel for the track?
He will be one of the main storylines to follow for that reason. It will be interesting to see how much his natural abilities will play a role.