Blaney adding to schedule, McClure entering Daytona 500
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Team Penske is scheduling Ryan Blaney to compete in at least two Sprint Cup Series races and 15 Nationwide events during the 2014 season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Blaney, the 20-year-old son of NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney, will continue to drive a full-time schedule for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series this year. He has won two races in trucks and earned the rookie- of-the-year title in that series this past season.
Driving the No. 12 SKF Ford for Penske, Blaney is scheduled to make his Sprint Cup debut in May at Kansas Speedway. He'll also compete in the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Blaney's first Nationwide start this season is slated for March 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The remainder of his schedule in NASCAR's second-tier series will be announced at a later date. Blaney joined Team Penske in 2012 and has competed in select Nationwide races for the organization over the last two seasons. Last September, he won his first event in the series at Kentucky Speedway, driving the No. 22 Ford.
Blaney was one of four drivers to take Penske's No. 22 car to victory lane in Nationwide last season. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and A.J. Allmendinger also won in it. The No. 22 team went on to win the owner's championship in the series in 2013.
"It just makes me feel really good to have people that trust me to make my Cup starts and do all of these Nationwide races to try to win that owner's championship again in that Nationwide car, and then try to have good Cup runs in those few starts that I'm going to have," Blaney said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to run against my dad in the Cup Series. It will be cool to be able to compare notes with him at the racetrack."
Also on Wednesday, Front Row Motorsports announced that it will field an entry for Eric McClure in this year's Daytona 500. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 35 Ford. McClure, an 11-year veteran of the Nationwide Series, has three career Sprint Cup starts but has never run in the Daytona 500. He failed to qualify for NASCAR's most prestigious race of the season in 2005 and'08.
"It's certainly very exciting for me, personally," McClure said. "The Daytona 500 is the biggest thing there is. It's something I've never done before and would love to have the opportunity to compete in that event."
McClure plans to compete in 28 of the 33-scheduled Nationwide races this year, driving the No. 14 Toyota for TriStar Motorsports.
The Daytona 500, which is the season-opener for Sprint Cup, is scheduled for Feb. 23.
01/29 18:19:18 ET