Ryan Blaney Can Join Kyle Larson & Chase Elliott on a Special Streak

Ryan Blaney

Getty Ryan Blaney celebrates a win at the NASCAR All-Star Race.

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney captured the All-Star Race on May 22 and locked up $1 million. Now he can continue a streak started by Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

Elliott captured the 2020 All-Star Race, which took place at Bristol Motor Speedway and featured undercarriage lights on the stock cars. Months later, he raced to Victory Lane at Phoenix Raceway and won the first Cup Series championship of his career. Larson then won the 2021 All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway amid a dominant season. He then captured the season finale at Phoenix Raceway to win the first Cup Series championship of his career.

Blaney hasn’t reached Victory Lane in a points-paying race during the 2022 season, but he has celebrated an All-Star win. He is currently second overall in the points standings, and he is well on his way to another playoff appearance. If he can make it through all three rounds and reach the championship four, he will have the opportunity to keep the streak alive for its third consecutive season.

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Multiple Drivers Have Captured the All-Star Race & Championship in 1 Year

Chase Elliott

GettyChase Elliott (left) won the 2020 All-Star Race and Cup Series championship.

Elliott and Larson are the two most recent drivers to win the All-Star Race and follow it up with a championship trophy. However, they are nowhere near the first to achieve this feat. There are several that have done so during the 38-year history of the All-Star Race.

Darrell Waltrip was the first driver to win both races in a single season. He captured the inaugural All-Star Race in 1985 and then won the championship for Junior Johnson. Dale Earnhardt won the All-Star Race in 1987, 1990, and 1993 while winning the championship each of those years.

The list of drivers also features Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 2001), and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013). The former driver of the No. 48 captured a record four All-Star Race wins, but he only won the championship in two of those seasons. Kevin Harvick (2007), Kasey Kahne (2008), Tony Stewart (2009), Kurt Busch (2010), and Joey Logano (2016) won the All-Star Race during Johnson’s other championship campaigns.

Blaney Needs To Reach Another Playoff Round

Blaney has achieved success during his Cup Series career. He has won seven points-paying races, as well as the All-Star Race. He just hasn’t fully contended for a championship in his full-time career.

Blaney, who made his full-time debut in 2016, has reached the playoffs five previous times. He cracked the Round of 12 in 2017 and 2018 before making his way into the Round of Eight in 2019. He fell back to the Round of 12 in 2020 but returned to the Round of Eight in 2021. Now he is on pace to enter the playoffs as the fifth overall seed behind Chase Elliott, William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Busch.

Blaney has two career-best finishes of seventh in the final championship standings, but he hasn’t reached the final four just yet. The 2022 season presents this opportunity as Blaney strives to add more Cup Series wins to his total and contend for the Bill France Cup.

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