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NASCAR Ford Driver Ryan Blaney Gets Best Driver Nomination

Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 NASCAR Ford Mustang Dark Horse in the Cup Series, is up for “Best Driver” at the 2024 ESPY Awards. He faces stiff competition on the ballot, nominated among a handful of other drivers from other disciplines, along with athletes from 22 other categories representing the best from the past year in sports.

Blaney, the defending Cup Series champion, was nominated for his exemplary performance throughout the 2023 season. He closed out the season with two wins in the final six races, prevailing at Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway, securing his place in the Final 4 in the Cup Series championship. While he didn’t win the deciding race at Phoenix (Ross Chastain roughed his way to that victory), Blaney outperformed the other three drivers in the Final 4, securing his first Cup Series championship.

More recently, Blaney picked up right where he left off last year, winning just a few weekends ago at Iowa Speedway. He almost won back-to-back, leading the pack at New Hampshire before tangling with a fellow NASCAR Ford driver in the closing laps. The impact took him out of contention, but he has plenty of time to make up for the incident as the 2024 season is in full swing.

Blaney is currently ninth in the points standings, 94 points out of first place, which is held down by Chevy driver Kyle Larson. However, with his win at Iowa, he’s guaranteed a pass into the postseason Playoffs as one of the 16 drivers able to compete for the championship.

Other drivers up for the Best Driver award at this year’s ESPYS include Matt Hagan from the NHRA, Alex Palou of IndyCar, and Max Verstappen of Formula One. Voting is currently open online on ESPN’s website.

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Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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