WATCH: Ryan Blaney wins maiden NASCAR Cup championship, holding off Kyle Larson to finish second behind Ross Chastain at Phoenix

Ryan Blaney is the second NASCAR Cup champion of the Next-Gen car era.


WATCH: Ryan Blaney wins maiden NASCAR Cup championship, holding off Kyle Larson to finish second behind Ross Chastain at Phoenix

NASCAR President Steve Phelps gives Ryan Blaney the 2023 Cup title (Via IMAGO)

Team Penske Racing has secured their second driver’s championship of the Next-Gen era as Ryan Blaney scored the best finish among the championship-4 drivers at the Phoenix Raceway Cup finale. It was the first-ever NASCAR title of Blaney’s career as he capped off the 2023 season with three wins and 17 top-10s.

Flowing an early crash and exit of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, it was a three-horse race for the title on Sunday. Willaim Byron, who won the most races this season, dominated the initial part of the race but failed to keep the lead as Kyle Larson and Blaney overtook him. The race became a strong battle between the No:12 Ford and No:5 Chevy at the end.

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Blaney could keep hold of his advantage and got to the finish line behind race winner Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing. It was the second win of the season for the watermelon man and a redemption following an early playoff exit. Ironically, Blaney was the P2 finisher in the 2022 race as well, when Joey Logano took the win and title.

But, the race also witnessed the end of an impressive streak, as Blaney became the first driver in the Chase for the championship era to not win the season finale. Since its inception in 2014, all champions till 2022 won the final race. It also marked the first-ever back-to-back Cup championship triumph for Penske.

Ryan Blaney is proud to help Roger Penske a milestone title

Blaney was in tires after the win, marking an impressive back-to-back triumph for Roger Penske, his team owner. He admitted post-race that his team did massive work to give him a championship-winning Car, and he is proud of their efforts.

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Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano (Via IMAGO)
Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano (Via IMAGO)
It was definitely on my mind to give him consecutive titles, I mean, because he's done everything in motorsports and we had a chance to go back-to-back on the Cup side with him. I mean, we couldn't pass up that opportunity. So everyone worked really hard to make it happen and I'm so proud of the effort.
Blaney said, as reported by ESPN.

The race also marked the impressive turnaround to the season Blaney had. He was one of the drivers in the Ford garage who was hurt the most by the car’s underwhelming performance and, even after his Coco-Cola 600 win, struggled to remain consistent. Till his Talladega win in the R-12, he had a 15-race streak of disappointing results. But since Dega, he was arguably the best driver on the track.

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