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Here's What To Know About NASCAR Driver Ryan Blaney's Dad Dave Blaney
As seen in "Race For The Championship," Ryan Blaney was encouraged to get into NASCAR by his father, Dave Blaney, who has a racing legacy of his own.
That's the case for Ryan Blaney, as acknowledged in the new USA Network series "Race For The Championship," airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. In the second episode of the series' Ryan's family roots to NASCAR are touched upon. But who exactly is his father, Dave Blaney?
Dave, an Ohio native got his start in sprint car racing, just like his father, Lou Blaney, who also raced sprint cars and even co-owned Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. He was named the 1983 All-Star Sprint Circuit Rookie Of the Year when he was 21 and won several important sprint car races before making his way to the top in 1997, winning both the Gold Cup and the Knoxville Nationals, the most important race in Speed Racing, according to NBC Sports.
From there, he transitioned to the world of NASCAR, racing from 1998 to 2014. Despite never winning a Cup race, he had 475 Cup starts over the years. He also competed in more than 120 Xfinity races, The New York Times reported.
Dave passed along his love of racing to his son, Ryan, gifting him a go-kart when he was 8 or 9, according to The New York Times. The rest is history: Ryan is currently on his seventh season competing in the Cup Series, and he has seven career wins in the NASCAR Xfinity series.
The father-son duo's NASCAR careers did, in fact, overlap at the 2013 Mudsummer Classic Truck Series race, where Dave finished in 9th and Ryan finished 15th, according to NBC Sports.
“I’ll always have it over him that I whipped him that night. That was the last time. I quit while I was ahead right there and never did it again," he told the outlet.
These days, Dave is happy to cheer his son, Ryan, on.
"I’m really proud of him, the type of person he is, his attitude and work ethic that has led to success in NASCAR. I think that would have led to success in whatever he tried to do in life ... He’s a good kid, I’m loving it that he got a great chance in NASCAR early, at a young age, and took advantage of the opportunities he’s gotten. He has a chance to have a really good career. You’ve got to keep going and keep pushing and I think he’s up for it," he told NBC Sports.
While Dave continues to compete in sprint car racing occasionally, he's fine with settling down.
“I’m kind of okay with if I need to stop or the circumstances get me stopped, then it’s okay. I’ve raced a long time, have had a lot of fun and made a living at it for a long time, so that’s more than I ever thought might happen. It’s all good," he told NBC Sports.