Ryan Blaney to drive Virginia Tech car at Bristol, Martinsville
Ryan Blaney will have a special look on the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Wood Brothers Racing and the Virginia Tech Athletics Department announced Monday that Blaney would pilot a Virginia Tech-themed paint scheme in Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol as well as the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in October.
"Virginia Tech has been a big part of the Wood Brothers for a long, long time," said Leonard Wood, co-founder of the famed team. "We've been friends with Coach [Bud] Foster and just met the new coach. I never dreamed when my daughter was going to Virginia Tech that we'd have a race car on the practice field here at Virginia Tech. It's just awesome."
The car is being used to promote the school's academic programs and the athletic department as part of the school's "This is Home" marketing campaign. Virginia Tech will also play against Tennessee in the Battle at Bristol on Saturday, September 10, a game that is expected to set college football's all-time single-game attendance record.
PRN, in conjunction with Touchdown Radio, will broadcast the historic game. Heisman Trophy winner Gino Toretta and veteran play-by-play announce Taylor Zarzour will anchor the game. PRN pit reporters Brett McMillan and Jim Noble will report from the sidelines.
Virginia Tech graduate Clark Ruhland designed the car, firesuit, helmet and pit crew uniforms.
"That 'VT' on the hood just jumps out at you and I love the color combination. It's one of my favorites," Wood said.
"We've got a long line of family ties with this and we felt like the deal with our race at Bristol and then the Battle at Bristol coming up that it was kind of important to do this," said Len Wood.
In 10 combined starts in NASCAR's top three series at Bristol, Blaney has two victories, four top-five finishes, and six top 10s. His best career Sprint Cup Series finish at BMS was 11th in this year's Food City 500. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate is currently 18th in points, just 18 markers behind Kyle Larson for the final spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.