CONCORD, N.C. â While Ryan Blaney says heâs not treated like it by his Team Penske peers, he knows how his performance output has compared to his teammates over the last few years.
âI look back and Iâve been the third best performing driver since â16,â Blaney said during a media event Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. âYou donât want to be that guy. Thatâs something I want to change really bad.â
Blaney, who is in the last year of his contract with the team, admitted being âthe last guyâ can âput your job in jeopardy.â
In his first four full-time Cup seasons, two with the Penske-aligned Wood Brothers Racing before transitioning to Penskeâs No. 12 car, Blaney has three wins and 26 top fives. His wins have come at a pace of one a year starting in 2017, with two earned in dramatic last-lap fashion on the Charlotte Roval and last season at Talladega.
âYou donât want to be a one-win a year guy,â Blaney said. âPeople tell me that itâs better than no wins a year. You want to be level or above your teammates. Thatâs just a competitor thing.â
âI donât want to be the bottom of the totem pole,â Blaney said. âIâm not treated like that. Iâm not saying that. I get everything those guys get. âŠ Joey and Brad are great. Theyâre both champions. I want to be better than those guys, thatâs obviously the goal. Itâs a personal thing. I need to get better.â
He hopes Team Penskeâs major crew chief/crew shakeup announced earlier this month will do a lot toward making that a reality.
The 26-year-old driver enters his fifth full-time Cup season paired with crew chief Todd Gordon, who moves over to the No. 12 after eight years working on the No. 22. Seven of those were spent with Logano behind the wheel.
Blaneyâs previous crew chief, Jeremy Bullins, is now paired with Keselowski on the No. 2 Ford and Keselowskiâs former crew chief, Paul Wolfe, is paired with Logano.
âI wouldnât say I needed a kick in the ass,â Blaney said of the shakeup. âI feel like when things like that happen, they happen so abruptly and itâs a big change for everybody. It kind of opens some peopleâs eyes. âOh, ok we werenât doing as good as we thought. We need to be better.â Theyâre not afraid to make a change. It might get everyone hungry. I want to show I can do this with a new person. âŠ Change can be good. If youâre going to make change, donât make a little change. Iâm a big fan of big overhauls. I think it will give everyone a big jolt of energy. Weâll find out in about a month.â
Gordon has proven what he can do with a young driver who has struggled to produce consistent success.
When Logano arrived at Team Penske in 2013 at the age of 23, he brought with him a four-year record at Joe Gibbs Racing that saw him win twice, in his first and final years with the team.
While they only won once in 2013, over the next three years Logano and Gordon claimed 14 victories. After missing the playoffs in 2017, they won five times over the last two seasons and won the 2018 title.
âWorking with someone new is going to challenge me more to learn him and you kind of combine your two knowledges,â Blaney said. âYou have your own language, right? You mesh them together and you hopefully understand and work on and both make sure you understand.â