Blaney faces uncertain future behind wheel
Dave Blaney intends to be around NASCAR’s top three series next season.
He just doesn’t know in what capacity.
He might be driving again or just watching his son Ryan, who will again race for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Truck Series and is expected to see action in the Nationwide Series as a Roger Penske development driver.
Right now, the only racing Dave Blaney is assured of doing will be behind the wheel of his sprint cars, after being knocked out of his Sprint Cup ride at Tommy Baldwin Racing in favor of Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett, who is bringing sponsorship.
“That’s the way things go,” Dave Blaney said. “I want to be out with Ryan, watching him race, and I’ll be doing that a lot no matter what. And if nothing else comes along, I’ll run the sprint car whenever I can.”
Blaney wasn’t taken by surprise when TBR owner Tommy Baldwin opted to go with a driver who had sponsorship for his small Cup team, which often didn’t have sponsorship this season for Blaney’s car or one driven by J.J. Yeley.
“I knew Tommy was working on some things, so it wasn’t a total shock,” Blaney said. “A little team like his in that situation, when you get the opportunity to get sponsorship, you’ve got to make the move.”
And while he will happy just to be at the track watching Ryan race, the elder Blaney isn’t ready to let the book close on his Cup career after being on the circuit for the past 14 years.
“I’ve been talking to a couple of the other smaller teams,” Dave Blaney said. “I still want to do it if I have the opportunity. I’m going to be out there at the track with Ryan and if I get something going that would be great.”
He would also be interested in racing in either the Nationwide Series or NASCAR Truck Series.
“I’d look at all of it,” Dave Blaney said. “If something interesting popped up, then heck yeah, I’d do it. But teams are going more and more with young guys in Nationwide and Trucks, so the chances of that happening I’d say are slim.”
As for racing the sprint cars, which he raced before hooking up with Bill Davis and coming to High Point over a decade ago, Blaney said he would like to do more than his sporadic starts last year but he would have to see how things fall.
“Once the sprint car schedules come out, we’ll sit down and see how many of those we can run and still see a lot of Ryan’s races,” Blaney said. “And some of it comes down to money. We’ll see how many we can afford to run.”
While NASCAR touts the Cup series as major league, its Sprint Cup awards show won’t be on one of the major cable networks.
The gala from Las Vegas will be shown on Fox Sports 2 live at 9 p.m. on Dec. 6, with a replay on Fox Sports 1 on Dec. 7 at 1 a.m. And for those interested in seeing former HPU student Austin Dillon honored as the NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, the banquet for that series and the NASCAR Truck Series was taped for showing on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday at 8 p.m.