Ryan Blaney delivered one of the most dominant performances of the 2022 season back in May when the NASCAR All-Star Race was held at Texas. The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford led 84 of 140 laps on the way to a convincing victory placed in doubt only by an unnecessary last-minute caution flag that NASCAR later admitted it didn’t need to throw.
Since that night, Blaney has earned a spot in the Cup Series playoffs and advanced to the Round of 12 but done so with an asterisk. The asterisk being that he still hasn’t won a points-paying race this season. In fact, Blaney was the only one of the original 16 playoff drivers to make the playoffs based on points because he didn’t have a win.
Will that points win finally come on Sunday at Texas? It’s certainly a possibility when you consider just how strong Blaney ran at Texas back in May. The second-generation Cup Series driver also brings a history of success to the 1.5-mile quad-oval, having finished in the top 10 in seven of 13 starts here. Three of those top-10s were top-fives and all seven top-10 finishes have come in his last eight Texas starts. Blaney has not, however, won a points-paying event at Texas. There wouldn’t be a better time for him to check that box than this Sunday afternoon.
Blaney will look to replicate the Texas success of 2021 Cup champion Kyle Larson, who won last year’s All-Star Race at Texas and then returned to Victory Lane in the fall playoff race, which he dominated by leading 256 of 334 laps in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.