Only the aesthetics (yes, hair included) are changing for Ryan Blaney.
For 2018, Blaney will race under the Team Penske umbrella in the No. 12 Ford. But he has been tied to the organization for quite some time, and even his former Wood Brothers Racing ride had deep ties with Penske through a technical alliance.
Asked earlier this week how the adjustment is going, Blaney revealed even his team is largely staying the same.
“We have two or three new members of our team,” he said. “We’ve mostly kept the same core group, which was good. There was only a few members that stayed at the Wood Brothers, that have been there a long time that we acquired when we went to the 21 car a few years ago, and I’m excited.”
A tire test at Texas Motor Speedway meant there were no big changes made to the car, but Blaney saw positives in how his group worked together. Considering everyone already knows each other, Blaney felt the communication went well and things are off to a good start in the right direction.
The other area that is unofficially new for Blaney is being teammates with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. A pre-existing relationship exits there, so not surprisingly, Blaney doesn’t see anything unexpected happening when the seasons starts.
“I feel like that side is going to stay really similar as far as prep work,” Blaney said. “Even at track stuff, the way Joey, Brad and I work together and the way the teams work together. We did a really good job last year, really the last couple years working really closely together and that’s what has given us some of our success and helped us learn a lot, that’s for sure.
“It’s going to be really similar [this year]. Really, the only thing different is just adding another team. The Wood Brothers group, Paul, all of them, is going to be the same as it was last year; just one more group and I think that’s going to make us stronger. Just a lot more opinions about things, so for me it’s not going to change much … It’s really the same thing for meetings or information that we get, it was all already all there, which is great and it’s still going to be there.”