Ryan Blaney, Wood Bros. may run full 2016 Sprint Cup season with help from Team Penske


With help from Roger Penske, Ryan Blaney and Wood Brothers Racing may run the full Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2016, Penske told NASCAR Talk prior to Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney is a Penske Racing development driver on loan to the Wood Brothers to run about half of this year’s 36-race Sprint Cup schedule.

“This is a partnership really with Woods’ people and ours,” Penske said. “We’ve got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It’s like a brother-in-law.”

The last time Wood Brothers ran a full season was 2006 with Ken Schrader.

The son of Sprint Car Hall of Famer and former NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, the 21-year-old Ryan Blaney has made four Sprint Cup starts thus far this season.

Ryan Blaney qualified third and went on to earn a career-best fourth-place finish three weeks ago in the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. He also finished 19th at Las Vegas.

Engine problems relegated the younger Blaney to finishes of 39th at Daytona and 42nd at Texas.

Penske currently has a two-car Sprint Cup operation with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. There are no plans to expand to three or four teams, leaving the Wood Brothers as the best option to get Blaney more seat time.

“I’d hope there can be an extension,” Penske said. “We’re going to run him in about 18 races (this season), so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski