What’s in a name? For Ryan Blaney it’s one word

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s not a Madonna thing. Or even a Beyonce deal. Yet, there on the waist of Ryan Blaney’s uniform, it reads only Blaney. And his Twitter handle is @Blaney.

So why no first name?

It’s related to Twitter.

Ryan Blaney used to go by @RyanBlaney22. He considered changing the number to 21 with his move to the Wood Brothers this season. But with driving in all three NASCAR series this season – Blaney is expected to run 18 Sprint Cup, about 15 Xfinity and a few Camping World Truck races – it wouldn’t do any good to have a number at the end of his Twitter handle since he would race with different numerals.

OK, so why not go with his first and last name?

That Twitter name is taken.

“It’s some guy in England and he hasn’t used it in like two years,’’ Blaney said of the @RyanBlaney, whose last tweet was Feb. 2013. “We got with Twitter and we tried to buy it from him. I don’t know why he wouldn’t do it.’’

Well, it makes Blaney like Brad Keselowski, who goes by @Keselowski on Twitter.

“Kind of copying Brad,’’ Blaney quipped.

In more than one way. Blaney also is the son of a racer and will compete in some Truck races for Keselowski’s team.

Blaney’s focus, though, is making the Daytona 500 field. The Wood Brothers are not guaranteed a starting spot. Provided he makes the field, the 21-year-old knows anything can happen.

A 20-year-old Trevor Bayne won this race for the Wood Brothers four years ago. Blaney’s father, Dave, was leading the 2012 Daytona 500 when Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer, creating an inferno in Turn 3.

There were questions if the track could be repaired. Dave Blaney could have been declared the winner since the race was past the halfway mark. Instead, the race resumed after more than two hours and Dave Blaney finished 15th.

Ryan Blaney agonized during that delay. After spending Speedweeks at the track, he was home because he had school the next day.

“I was so excited that he had a chance to do it and then I wasn’t going to be there for it so I was angry,’’ Ryan Blaney said. “It may have been worse if he did it and I wasn’t there for it. That would have stunk. That was definitely an interesting situation that I don’t think anyone has seen before and I don’t know if we will see that again.”

NASCAR Power Rankings: Kevin Harvick still No. 1 after quiet Vegas

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Kevin Harvick didn’t have a flashy night Sunday in Las Vegas, but it didn’t keep him from retaining the No. 1 spot in this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings.

After winning the Bristol night race, Harvick finished in the top 10 in the first two stages in Vegas before placing 10th at race’s end.

Kurt Busch’s win at his home track vaulted him into the top 10 as 12 drivers received votes.

More: Playoff standings after Las Vegas

Here is this week’s NASCAR Power Rankings:

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week No. 1): In the last eight races he’s won three times and finished outside the top 10 only twice.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week No. 5): Placed fourth for his 11th top-five finish in the last 14 races.

3. Alex Bowman (Last week unranked): Finished fifth for his second top five and fifth top-10 finish in the last six races.

4. Denny Hamlin (Last week unranked): Left Vegas with a third-place finish to snap a three-race streak of finishing outside the top 10.

5. Kurt Busch (Last week unranked): Snapped a 46-race winless streak with his victory and advanced to the Round of 8.

6. Kyle Busch (Last week No. 3): Finished sixth after a “dismal” night. He has four consecutive top 10s.

7. Brad Keselowski (Last week No. 5): Finished 13th to give him two finishes outside the top 10 since he won at Richmond.

8. Chase Briscoe (Last week unranked): Opened the Xfinity playoffs with his second consecutive win.

8. Chase Elliott (Last week No. 2): Led 73 laps, but had to settle for a 22nd-place finish in Vegas.

8. Joey Logano (Last week No. 3): Finished 14th for his second straight finish outside the top 10.

Also receiving votes: Erik Jones and Chris Buescher.

NASCAR announces changes to Kansas playoff weekend

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Citing “programming changes,” NASCAR announced shifts in the race dates and start times for its visit next month to Kansas Speedway.

The Xfinity, ARCA and Truck Series races have been shifted, while the Cup race remains at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 18.

The biggest move is the Truck Series race shifting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here are the changes.

Friday, Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. ETARCA Menards Series on FS1 or FS2; network TBD at a later date (previously at 10 p.m. ET)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. ETTruck Series on FOX (previously Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. ET Xfinity on NBCSN (previously 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN)


Xfinity Series playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Chase Briscoe opened the Xfinity Series playoffs by earning his second consecutive win.

His victory Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway gives him 57 playoff points and an automatic spot in the Round of 8.

Harrison Burton holds the final transfer spot. He has a two-point advantage over Ross Chastain.

Behind Chastain below the cutline are Michael Annett (-10 points), Riley Herbst (-14) and Brandon Brown (-20).

Below is the full Xfinity Series playoff standings going into Saturday’s race at Talladega (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance. Drivers in yellow are in the remaining playoff spots.

Xfinity Series playoff standings

Cup playoff standings after Las Vegas

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Kurt Busch flipped the script on the Cup playoff standings with his win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

He entered the Round of 12 as the last driver in the playoff standings, but is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.

Replacing Busch in the bottom spot of the playoff standings is Austin Dillon. He is 32 points behind Alex Bowman, who holds the final cutoff spot.

Behind Bowman is Kyle Busch (-9 points), Clint Bowyer (-20), Aric Almirola (-27) and Dillon.

“Obviously, the 1 car (Kurt Busch) was not a car that we needed to win a race,” Clint Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “It’s been a hell of a battle back there with cars that are kind of in the same wheelhouse as far as points-wise. (Kurt Busch) winning changes that landscape quite a bit, but we’re only 20 points out.”

Here is the full playoff standings entering Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

Drivers in red are below the cutline to advance to the Round of 8. Drivers in yellow hold the remaining available playoff spots.

Cup playoff standings