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What To Know About NASCAR Driver Ryan Blaney Before 'Race For The Championship' Premieres

Ryan Blaney, a member of Penske Racing, is a contender for the 2022 NASCAR World Cup series.

By Becca van Sambeck

When USA Network's new series "Race For The Championship" premieres Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, viewers will get to see what it's really like for drivers competing in the NASCAR Cup Series — both on and off the track. While they'll see what goes into the competition, they'll also go behind the scenes and see more of the drivers' personal lives than ever before.

How to Watch

Catch up on past episodes of Race For The Championship on Peacock

One of the drivers featured in the series is Ryan Blaney. So, here's what fans should know about him before "Race For The Championship" premieres!

Ryan, 28, is a member of Penske Racing Team, where he drives the No. 12 Ford Mustang for the team. Currently on his 9th season of racing, Ryan actually started out at first on Penske, before a stint on Wood Brothers Racing until he rejoined Penske in 2018. Popular amongst NASCAR fans, Blaney is known for his unique style and charm.

Racing cars is in his blood: His father, Dave Blaney, and his grandfather, Lou Blaney, both competed before him. (In fact, Ryan, a tattoo enthusiast, has art of his grandfather's car on his chest). He also has formed plenty of close connections on the track: He counts fellow drivers Bubba Wallace and Chase Elliot as some of his closest confidantes.

Nicknamed "YRB" (the affectionate moniker stands for "Young Ryan Blaney" and was given to him by his pal Wallace), he currently splits his time between Hartford Township, Ohio, and High Point, Carolina. As for romance, Ryan is currently dating Gianna Tulio, a swimsuit model who was named Miss Hooters in 2021. Not much is known about how they met, but they have posted several cozy Instagrams together, including one in July 2022 celebrating their anniversary. 

When it comes to the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, Ryan is in it to win it. While he hasn't won the Cup Series before, that doesn't mean he isn't a strong contender. Just last year, he placed 7th, and he has the determination and skills to make it all the way to the top this time.

"Race For The Championship" isn't his first foray into television, either. Blaney previously guest starred on the TV show "Taken" in 2018 and was featured on an episode of the Netflix series "The Crew." He also lent his voice to the film "Cars 3" for the character Ryan "Inside" Laney. 

Make sure to tune in to "Race For The Championship" when it premieres Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. You can catch up with all things NASCAR on Peacock.