Of the top five leaders in points in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, Ryan Blaney is the only one without a win and thus has yet to automatically qualify for the Cup playoffs. But on Sunday he made a big decision ahead of the final 10 races of the season.
Blaney announced on Sunday that he will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this year. He secured his spot mathematically despite the final laps in today's Coke Zero Sugar 400 being delayed to tomorrow.
Blaney has been solid all season, finishing in the top-10 11 times and hitting the top-five seven times. His consistent performance all season is why he's third in points behind Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.
NASCAR fans are congratulating Blaney for rightfully getting in. But many are still frustrated that Blaney had to wait until the final race of the season to qualify despite his strong racing all season.
Despite sitting third in the NASCAR Cup Series, Ryan Blaney has not reached the checkered flag first once this year. He has not reached it first at all since last year's Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona.
This very well might wind up being the first year since 2016 where Blaney didn't win a single race. Since 2017 he's won seven races, finishing seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series twice in 2019 and 2021.
The consistency has yet to yield Blaney a win though and he's going to need to win at least one come playoff time if he hopes to unseat Kyle Larson from the NASCAR Cup Series throne.
Will this be Ryan Blaney's year?