He might be a key part of NASCAR’s future, but Ryan Blaney still knows hows to do things the old-fashioned way.
Blaney earned his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race victory Sunday, but the win didn’t come easy. The 23-year-old was forced to find a creative way to communicate with his team after his radio malfunctioned during the Axalta presents the Pocono 400.
Unable to “Google” how to fix the issue, the Wood Brothers Racing team improvised by doing something three-time Grand National Series champion David Pearson did when he piloted the No. 21 in the 1970s.
If Blaney put his hand to the roof, it meant the car was loose. Hand to the door meant the No. 21 was tight. And if the 23-year-old driver was happy or upset, he let his crew chief know by signaling thumbs up or thumbs down.
It was a fitting way for Wood Brothers to return to victory lane, the 99th time the storied team has done so, but the first since 2011.
But radio failures weren’t the only technological issues the No. 21 team had to deal with Sunday. With Blaney in the midst of a heated duel with Kyle Busch, the Wood Brothers’ Twitter account supposedly was “hacked.”
Once the dust settled at Pocono Raceway, though, Blaney was feeling the social-media love from close friend Darrell Wallace Jr.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images