Not many noticed Ryan Blaney successful the Cup Series title coming into the playoffs, most analysts sticking with the JGR and Hendrick Motorsports heavyweights. Except for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Hall of Famer picked the Team Penske driver to win the championship lengthy earlier than the playoffs even began. What makes it extra spectacular is the truth that he introduced his decide when Ford was struggling for tempo in contrast to Toyota and Chevrolet.
On his podcast lately, Jr. expressed how in a method, it was the resurgence of RFK with driver/proprietor Brad Keselowski that sparked the upturn which led to the #12 driver capturing his first title.
Speaking on RFK’s domino impact on Ford as a producer, Earnhardt stated, “They’ve turned this firm round. This firm was on the very again of the pack, okay, and it didn’t appear to be there was any method up, any method ahead.”
“I’d credit score Ryan Blaney’s Championship success to RFK’s capability to get this ahead to transfer. Nobody may get the Ford to run, they did, and it actually wakened the opposite Ford groups. Instead of sitting there saying ‘We’ll we have now a automotive we are able to’t compete with, we obtained to wait until subsequent yr, this automotive you may’t make it work’, nicely RFK did, they figured it out and it truly motivated Pensky and the others to go to work,” concluded the two-time Daytona 500 winner.
RFK Racing noticed unimaginable enchancment towards the top of the season
The final 5 races of the common season noticed Chris Buescher take dwelling three wins, ultimately ending seventh within the remaining standings. The #6 of Brad Keselowski additionally completed strongly, closing the season in eighth place.
What was moderately extra spectacular was the truth that for many of the season, the Ford groups of Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske had been struggling for tempo. It was the spectacular run of three victories by Buescher and a string of prime 5s by Keselowski that gave life to the producer’s season, culminating in Blaney’s title win.
The solely query now could be whether or not the crew can carry that momentum into the 2024 season and mount a problem for the title itself. The progress has been nothing wanting outstanding for the legacy crew, contemplating the place the outfit was earlier than Keselowski joined as an proprietor earlier than the 2022 season.