By AMANDA VINCENT
Historic NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, the No. 21 Ford of Wood Brothers Racing, is returning to full-time competition in 2016 with Ryan Blaney as its driver, according to an announcement Friday from Blaney and the race team. Wood Brothers Racing, the oldest NASCAR team still in operation, has run a partial scheduled for the last several years.
“We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full-time competition,” Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood said. “It has been something we’ve worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules.”
The 2016 season will be Blaney’s first of full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series. He competed full-time in the Truck Series in 2013 and 2014, driving for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Blaney has been driver of the No. 21 in 2015. Sunday’s season-finale Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be Blaney and the No. 21 team’s 16th start of the 36-race 2015 season. In the 15 races up to this point, they have one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
“This is every drivers’ dream come true,” Blaney said. “Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I’m really looking forward to running a full schedule with the historic Wood Brothers team and, hopefully, get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later.”
The team’s most recent win came in 2011 with Trevor Bayne’s victory in the season-opening Daytona 500. Bayne drove the Wood Brothers Racing entry part-time through the 2014 season before taking the gig to be the full-time driver of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 Ford in the Cup Series for 2015.
Blaney also has raced part-time in the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series this season while driving the No. 21 at The Sprint Cup level, driving for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Truck Series and Team Penske, with which Wood Brothers Racing has a technical alliance, in the Xfinity Series.
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