2018 Cup Season in Review: Ryan Blaney

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Ryan Blaney

CREW CHIEF: Jeremy Bullins

TEAM: Team Penske

POINTS: 10th

WINS: One (Charlotte Roval)

LAPS LED:  660 (Career-best through three full-time seasons)

TOP 5s: Eight (Career-best; previous high was four in 2017)

TOP 10s: 16 (Career-best; previous high was 14 in 2017)

POLES: Three (Las Vegas I, Pocono I and Texas II; career-best, up from two in 2017)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Won his only race of the year in the inaugural event on the Charlotte Roval after Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson made contact in the final turn … Led 145 laps at Martinsville in March and placed third … Led 121 laps in the Bristol night race before placing seventh … Finished fifth in playoff opener at Las Vegas, helping Team Penske put three cars in the top five for the first time.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Led a race-high 118 in Daytona 500 but finished seventh after getting caught in a wreck with two laps to go in regulation … Led 100 laps in spring Bristol race before an unavoidable wreck eliminated him on Lap 118 … Suffered five DNFs, including two in a row at Kansas Speedway and the Coke 600.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2019: Blaney’s second full-time season with Team Penske. He’ll look to become a more dominant force among the “Youth Movement” drivers and continue his progression of better results each year. Will also try to lose his status as the only current Team Penske Cup driver without a championship.