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Ryan Blaney will join Team Penske in 2018 - Photo: LAT

Ryan Blaney will join Team Penske in 2018 – Photo: LAT

Team Penske’s NASCAR operation will expand to three cars in 2018 to make room for Ryan Blaney to join the team.

The 23-year-old Blaney will drive the No. 12 Ford Fusion entry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starting from the opening non-points “Clash” event at Daytona in February 2018.

“For some time now, we have wanted to bring Ryan in to run a third car for us, but things just needed to make sense from a timing and business perspective,” said team owner Roger Penske.

“We have been working on making this a reality and 2018 is the right opportunity to make this move and return our organization to a three-car team. The benefits of having three full-time teams under our roof, along with the continued technical partnership with the Wood Bothers, will help us remain competitive in the ever-changing NASCAR landscape.”

Blaney who has been part of Team Penske since 2012 (in the NASCAR XFINITY Series) has spent the last two season racing with the Wood Brothers Racing, earning his first Cup Series win at Pocono Raceway earlier this year.

“This is a huge opportunity for me and my career,” said Blaney.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing whatever car I was in and trying to win each and every race. I’ve had some great moments with both Team Penske and the Wood Brothers over the last few years. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am today without Roger (Penske), Eddie and Len (Wood) and the opportunities their organizations have given me.”

Blaney will join long time Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, while Paul Menard will move from Richard Childress Racing over to Wood Brothers to fill the seat vacated by Blaney.

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