Ryan Blaney Has a Unique Way of Connecting With NASCAR Fans

Ryan Blaney

Getty Ryan Blaney greets fans at Texas Motor Speedway.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney has a unique way of connecting with NASCAR fans throughout the season. He uses music to learn more about them before each race on the Cup Series schedule.

The driver of the No. 12 has been creating weekly playlists on Spotify. He uses them to highlight the bands from each market or songs that tell specific stories about Southern California, Kansas, Florida, or New York among other areas.

The 2022 season featured Blaney posting playlists on Spotify each week. He would put several songs on the list and then he would ask for suggestions on Twitter. This approach eventually changed to Blaney making it possible for his fans to directly edit the playlists and pack them full of songs spanning genres.

“It’s been unique, you know?” Blaney told Heavy ahead of the Atlanta weekend. “That was something that — his name’s Justin. He works for me. He kind of came up with that idea and thought it’d be neat. It started out initially of me and him picking out artists or bands in the general area of where we were racing.

“And then, we were like, ‘Well, it’d be cool for fans to pick their favorite artists from the area or even just a song they like that kind of describes the area we’re racing that weekend.'”

The New Approach Has Been Educational for Blaney

Ryan Blaney

GettyRyan Blaney signs autographs for NASCAR fans.

Blaney’s music preference is not limited to one or two genres. He listens to a wide variety of artists, as evidenced by his dog named Sturgill and his brutal scream that would fit in with many metal bands.

Since beginning this weekly tradition of making playlists on Spotify, Blaney has only been exposed to more music. He isn’t into all of it, but he has enjoyed learning about his fans and their preferences.

“Yeah, I have a weird taste in music,” Blaney continued. “I like every — almost every — genre there is, and it’s kind of sporadic. So it’s neat to kind of see other people’s music styles. Everyone’s way different. So I hear a lot of songs that I’ve never heard before that I like or some that I’ve never heard before that I am not really a fan of.

“You get some unique ones out there that you’re like, ‘Oh, that was pretty cool.’ Or like, ‘I don’t know what the heck that was.’ But yeah, it’s just something to interact a little bit with the fans — like I said — hear some different music and make cool playlists out of it.”

Blaney’s List Will Have a New Addition

Ryan Blaney

GettyRyan Blaney (center) appears on stage ahead of Cole Swindell concert.

There are several areas of the country that make regular appearances on Blaney’s Spotify account. For example, there are two trips to Daytona International Speedway and one to Homestead-Miami Speedway. This means that Florida bands are in heavy rotation.

The list will get a new addition during the summer stretch of the schedule. The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to a music hotbed in Chicago while preparing for the inaugural street race.

The Chicago playlist will have no shortage of music options spanning genres. For example, fans of punk and punk-adjacent music will be able to add 88 Fingers Louie, Alkaline Trio, The Academy Is, Rise Against, Fall Out Boy, Allister, Lucky Boys Confusion, The Falcon, and many others.

The list of possible options continues with Chicago, The Four Aces, Chance the Rapper, King Louie, Smashing Pumpkins, Styx, Disturbed, Survivor, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Though there will inevitably be many other options that the fans add to Blaney’s playlist while embracing this unique interaction opportunity.

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