Ryan Blaney: A young driver who respects old-school

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BROOKLYN, Mich. – In relation to the magnitude of the moment, Ryan Blaney’s victory celebration last Sunday at Pocono Raceway was positively subdued.

Blaney had just won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race, passing 2015 series champion Kyle Busch with nine laps left and held off 2014 champion Kevin Harvick over the final eight circuits.

The victory was the 99th for the Wood Brothers, the most venerable organization in NASCAR racing. Yet Blaney refrained from a celebratory burnout, preferring to keep things “old-school” in deference to his team owners.

“This year I kind of decided that I didn’t really want to do one anymore,” said Blaney, who will turn 24 on New Year’s Eve. “When I was younger, I used to do them and love them. They are fun to do. I just thought it was fitting not to do one in the Wood Brothers car because, traditionally, that is not how they used to do it.

“They used to just kind of go around and wave at the fans, so I figured that is what we would do. Probably the biggest regret of not having my radio working (it was broken during the race) was I couldn’t find these guys (team owners Eddie and Len Wood). I couldn’t find where they were and pick them up. I didn’t really see any negative things about not doing a burnout. I thought it was fitting for the Wood Brothers team.”