The domination of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch has made it difficult to judge the remainder of the field, but the two winless Penske Racing drivers Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski have nevertheless shown untapped potential according to NASCAR America analyst Parker Kligerman.
There have been some great opportunities for the Team Penske drivers to interject themselves into the winner’s list. Blaney had one of the cars to beat earlier this season at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500.
“I actually picked (Blaney) to win Bristol this year and I was looking really smart for a little bit of that race until he got in that wreck while leading,” Kligerman said. “The reason I believe that is because himself and Jeremy Bullins have a great rapport and going over to Team Penske officially in that 12 car just felt like all the stars were aligning to have more performances like we saw at Pocono, holding off Kevin Harvick in the closing laps.”
Blaney’s Bristol crash sent him to the garage in 35th. Busch won that race.
Despite failing to find victory lane yet this year, Blaney has led 418 laps – more than seven of the top 10 drivers in the points.
Blaney keeps putting the No. 12 team in position to win, but the same has not been as uniformly true of the No. 2 of Keselowski. And that has created some frustration.
Keselowski finished second to Harvick in Atlanta Motor Speedway during the second week of the season, but has earned only two more top-fives since.
“(The team members) believe what I believe, which is that Team Penske cars are some of the best right now beside Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs. If you were to say, ‘who is the best car right now who could beat Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch?’ Immediately I think Brad Keselowski and the 2 car. So why have they not been able to do it yet? That is what has perplexed them.”
For more on what Kligerman has to say about Team Penske, watch the video above.