Ryan Blaney Wins First NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Blaney delivered clutch moments in the playoffs and didn't disappoint Sunday


Nov 5, 2023

Ryan Blaney delivered clutch moments in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and he didn’t disappoint Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

The Team Penske driver claimed his first career Cup Series championship after making his first Championship 4. It was the second consecutive season Team Penske claimed a Cup Series title with Joey Logano’s victory last year.

“Just so proud of this team,” Blaney said, per NASCAR.com’s Dustin Albino. “Unbelievable year, unbelievable playoffs for us. To win back-to-back Cup titles for Mr. Penske, that’s so special. Having my family here, winning my first Cup title, I got emotional in the car. I’m not a very emotional guy.”

The 29-year-old was +250 on FanDuel heading into Sunday’s race, and he had +275 odds at BetMGM on the morning of the championship race. He commanded 7.2% of the tickets and 14.1% of the handle at BetMGM, according to data analyst Drew O’Dell. So those who bet on Blaney earned a nice payout.

Blaney entered the championship race with consecutive runner-up finishes, but after victories at Talladega and Martinsville, the belief was there to finally capture a title.

“You never want to count yourself out,” Blaney said. ?I mean, I think in the summer we were struggling a little bit. But we never gave up. We just went to work. I’ve said that all week, like, this group goes to work and they figure out problems. That’s why they’re such an amazing group to be with, with the Team Penske folks, ’cause they just put their head down and do the work, accept the challenge.

“That’s what we did. It’s not happenstance we started running good through the playoffs. It was a lot of hard work by a lot of amazing men and women at the shop. I can’t thank them enough for that.”

Ross Chastain finished first at Phoenix Raceway, and Blaney captured second ahead of championship race favorite Kyle Larson.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images

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