Blaney Hears ‘Wolf’s Call’ Following Cup Title

Blaney Wolfgang
Ryan Blaney (left) and Doug Wolfgang (right). (James Gilbert/Getty Images and Museum for American Speed photos)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Blaney’s family roots in racing extend back several decades, but it might be surprising to hear that the recently-crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion’s conversations have crossed paths with a short-track legend in recent weeks.

Blaney is a third-generation driver whose father Dave, uncle Dale, and grandfather Lou all raced sprint cars over their respective careers. While he didn’t follow in their footsteps, the youngest Blaney has carved out a successful motorsports tenure in his own right, headlined by his recent Cup title.

The 29-year-old was asked by reporters Thursday, ahead of the Cup Series awards banquet in the Music City, who “the coolest person” was that reached out to him after he ascended to the pinnacle of NASCAR’s premier division.

Blaney’s response? A five-time Knoxville Nationals champion and National Sprint Car Hall of Famer who boasts 140 career World of Outlaws feature wins.

“I think personally, to me, I don’t know if you know who Doug Wolfgang is, but he’s a great sprint car racer,” explained Blaney to a group of reporters. “Doug texts me every now and then. Through the year he will always congratulate me, so he called me Monday night after Phoenix … and that was super cool to be able to talk to him.”

Blaney’s father and grandfather both competed against Wolfgang during their times in the sport. 

“My dad is a huge fan of his. My dad respected Doug so much and was always very envious of his success. He was so good. So he called me Monday, which was super cool. I’ll tell you this story,” Blaney continued. “[Wolfgang] was like, ‘I have a dilemma. I have this debate internally with myself.’ 

“I was like, ‘What’s that?’ He’s like, ‘Well, i raced with your grandpa and I was jealous of him, so I tried to mirror my driving style off of him. And then your damn dad came along and he was even better, and I tried to mirror myself off of your dad, and now I’m not even racing and I’m watching you and now I’m thinking back that I need to mirror myself off of you, so I have this Blaney curse that I just love watching them.’”

It was a moment that, admittedly, struck a chord with the driver of the No. 12 Ford for Team Penske.

“That meant a lot to me because I love Doug Wolfgang and my dad respected him so much,” noted Blaney. “That was probably the coolest one personally for me to get a call.”

In addition to Wolfgang, Blaney’s father, grandfather, and uncle are all also inductees into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

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