You do not have to be a statistician to know who the best at Talladega has been as of late – Team Penske. Over the last 11 races at Talladega Superspeedway, Team Penske has celebrated in Victory Lane in seven of them (63.6%); including the most recent – last October’s race, when Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a thrilling photo finish.
In total, Team Penske has eight wins at the Alabama track among three drivers – Brad Keselowski (four wins: 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017), Joey Logano (three: 2015, 2016, 2018) and Ryan Blaney (2019).
Despite the crew chief shake up to start the season, all three Team Penske drivers are in the top five in points with a third of the season in the books. Leading the way are veterans Keselowski and Logano, who have both secured their spots in the Playoffs with wins this season (two wins each) and both have racked up Playoff points through stage wins. Logano is currently third in the driver standings, 29 points back from Kevin Harvick in the standings lead, and Keselowski is fourth in the standings; 51 points back from Harvick.
But this weekend, could be the one Blaney takes the spotlight and gets his first win of 2020. Just one point behind his teammate Keselowski, in fifth in the driver standings, Blaney is the highest ranked driver without a win this season. But he has been incredibly consistent posting six top fives (tied for series-most) on the year.
“I enjoy speedway racing. It’s just kind of a different deal,” said Blaney. “I’m excited to see the new rules package. We are going to get a firsthand look at it right in the race, no practice. I’m excited to see what that does.”
Blaney has made 11 starts at Talladega posting one win, two top fives, three top 10s and an average finish of 19.0.
He continued, “As far as the momentum side, yeah, you feel good for sure, stringing together some decent runs. But it is hard to kind of carry that over to Talladega. You just never know what can happen.”
Team Penske finished fifth (Logano), 13th (Keselowski), and 15th (Blaney) in the Spring Talladega race last season, then in the Fall they finished first (Blaney), 11th (Logano), and 25th (Keselowski).