Dale Earnhardt Jr. defends ‘short-fused’ Ryan Blaney from criticism over giving Ross Chastain the bird at Phoenix

Dale Jr sees a funny side to Ryan Blaney’s antics at Phoenix.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. defends ‘short-fused’ Ryan Blaney from criticism over giving Ross Chastain the bird at Phoenix

Ryan Blaney, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ross Chastain (Via IMAGO)

2023 NASCAR Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney received some criticism for his aggressive driving at the Cup season finale at Phoenix. He won the title by finishing the race at P2 behind Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing. The duo had an aggressive battle for the win as Blaney was relentless in the fight for the lead, with Kyle Larson charging behind him.


In the post-race interviews, both drivers were candid about the battle. Blaney said that he was aggressive with Chastain because of his defending. The Trackhouse driver insisted that what he did was right and added that he was cautious about not wrecking Blaeny while going for the win. Amidst this battle, Blaney was livid on the team radio. He was even spotted flipping the bird at Chastain.

Blaney is infamous for it, as sometimes he gets easily frustrated while racing. While discussing the same, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted that he likes this aspect of Blaney. He claims there is nothing wrong with the Team Penske Racing drivers’ antics and added that it also gives some good content for TV as well.

My man Blaney is easily annoyed behind the steering wheel. I’ve said this on the broadcast a couple of times, especially using the word ‘short-fused’ or the phrase, ‘Blaney’s got a short fuse.’ I like it. I like the cursing. It gives us great audio. They play it during commercial. I’m like, ‘Y’all have to put that on air,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh we’re gonna.’
Junior said Via Dale Jr. Download.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. explains why Ryan Blaney giving the bird to Ross Chastain is funny

Dale Jr. saw the funny side of Blaney giving the bird to Chastain at Phoenix. He pointed out that for fans, seeing the Penske driver this animated without being aware of the dirty air strategy of the No:1 Chevy will be a hilarious scene.  

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Credits: IMAGO)
He knows more than we do, and he knows Chastain is being strategic and tactical in how he’s trying to air block. But it’s just so funny if you ignore that little part and watch Blaney ride around the track, hands in the air, and he’s flipping the bird, and he’s having this sort of conversation with himself and Chastain.

Dale Jr. Download co-host Mike Joy has a unique perspective on Blaney’s antics. He sees it as a self-healing mechanism by which he can easily get rid of the frustration in the moment and focus once again on the race.

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