The NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway will feature Ryan Blaney in an all-white Ford Mustang. He will showcase a new scheme while celebrating a long relationship with BodyArmor.
The No. 12 Ford Mustang, which highlights the new BodyArmor SportWater, has a design called “Stormtrooper White.” This is a fitting choice considering that Blaney is a vocal “Star Wars” fan with the Darth Vader tattoo to prove it.
The new scheme includes a white base with black and red numbers and logos, which matches the new alkaline water packaging. There are also large bottles of BodyArmor SportWater on the sides and hood.
“It does look like [a stormtrooper], which is cool,” Blaney told Heavy ahead of the Atlanta race weekend. “I’m excited for everyone to see. I got the privilege of seeing it at our production day in the offseason. It turned out really, really great, so it will look really cool on the race track.
“It’s got a little stormtrooper colors on it. It’s super cool. … I feel like black and white race cars if done right — and I believe we’ve done this one right — they look so clean and really, really sharp. So like I said, it’ll look great in the Atlanta sun and we’ll see what everyone thinks about it. I know I’ll like it.”
The New Atlanta Presents Blaney With a Winning Opportunity
The Team Penske driver has made several starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway during his Cup Series career. He has competed in nine races at the Georgia track, and he has a win on his resume. Though this win took place during the 2021 season, the final on the old configuration.
“It’s a way different mindset than that race in ’21 before they repaved it,” Blaney said. “Your tire saving was just a huge, huge part of that race, and that’s how we ended up beating [Kyle] Larson. We saved ourselves a little bit more than him at the end and we were able to run him down.
“Here, it’s all about positioning yourself at the front. We’ll kind of get two-wide there in a pack, and it’s hard to go anywhere. It’s hard to kind of move forward, there’s just nowhere to go. So it’s all about kind of putting yourself up towards the front at the end of that thing and then trying to pick which lane is the best one.”
Adding another win to the resume will not be a simple task for Blaney. He will have to be in a perfect position to take advantage on the final run to the checkered flag, and he will have to avoid some incidents that will inevitably happen as his fellow competitors push for the all-important win.
Of course, Blaney has been able to achieve this at other superspeedways in his career. He has a win at Daytona International Speedway and two at Talladega Superspeedway. He also finished second behind Chase Elliott at Talladega during the 2022 Cup Series playoffs.
“I’ve always enjoyed kind of superspeedway racing,” Blaney continued. “Daytona Talladega, they’re a unique kind of style of race, and I’ve always enjoyed them and been fairly successful at them. It’s one of those things you never know what can happen to you, and I have just accepted that you can go into those races and get tore up and it’s not your fault. You just kind of get caught up with someone else’s mess.
“And I think once you get that through your head, that makes those tracks a lot easier to kind of live through — or approach — I guess you could say. Like I said, we’ve been close. It’d be nice to get a win on the old surface and the new surface. That’d be pretty neat.”
Blaney Has Embraced Unique Opportunities With BodyArmor
The trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark another chapter in a partnership that began back in 2017, and it will only be the latest example of Blaney embracing interesting opportunities.
This partnership with BodyArmor has led to unique moments on and off the track. Some were emotional, such as Blaney running a tribute scheme to Kobe Bryant after his death in 2020. Others were more uplifting as he met fellow BodyArmor athletes and gained new insight into their respective careers.
“The Kobe scheme we did, obviously in terrible circumstances, but it was great that we were able to do that and kind of show our respects to him,” Blaney said. “This one this weekend might be up there with the top two of my favorites that we’ve done. We might have a little bit more surprises down the road as well.
“So it’s just been neat to be able to meet some of the other athletes that they have through the years and stuff like that. As an athlete, you respect other athletes and other sports, right, and you’re interested in what they do and what their process is compared to yours. It’s always different, but you can kind of pick out similarities here and there.”
Blaney has embraced these opportunities over the years while working with BodyArmor, and he will continue to do so at Atlanta Motor Speedway and at other tracks on the Cup Series schedule. The only thing left is to open for Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Lopez.