NW Motorsports Report - November 10

November 10, 2023


From NASCAR Media

- NASCAR President Steve Phelps presents the Bill France NASCAR Cup Series Championship trophy to Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford, in victory lane after winning the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

 PHOENIX — Ryan Blaney spent the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs delivering clutch performances when it mattered most. And in the biggest race of his life, the 29-year-old gave his most memorable showing yet. Now, he is a Cup Series champion.

Blaney claimed his first career Cup Series championship on Sunday at Phoenix Raceway in his first Championship 4 appearance. He outlasted fellow title hopefuls Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson and William Byron for the most prestigious prize in NASCAR.

Blaney had the lead among Championship 4 drivers when the caution flag flew for a Kyle Busch spin with 37 laps remaining. After losing that advantage on pit road, Blaney battled back on the ensuing restart to get past Byron and Larson, getting in front of them with 20 laps to go. Blaney held that position and finished second to race-winner Ross Chastain but first among the Championship 4 competitors.

It’s the second consecutive season Team Penske took home NASCAR’s top prize, with Blaney following Joey Logano’s 2022 title conquest. It also gives Ford a sweep of championships following titles by Cole Custer and Ben Rhodes earlier this weekend.

“Just so proud of this team,” Blaney said. “Unbelievable year, unbelievable playoffs for us. To win back-to-back Cup titles for Mr. Penske, that’s so special. Having my family here, winning my first Cup title, I got emotional in the car. I’m not a very emotional guy.

“Thank you, guys, for coming. Hope it was an awesome show.”

It took Blaney eight full seasons, but he joins Brad Keselowski and Logano as the three drivers to win Cup titles for Roger Penske.

In four previous trips to the Round of 8, Blaney came up empty-handed. This year, the No. 12 team stepped up at the right time, scoring a pair of playoff victories at Talladega and Martinsville en route to the championship.

Unlike previous seasons when Blaney made mistakes in the Round of 8, he rose to the occasion in 2023. Across the three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Martinsville Speedway in the Round of 8, the No. 12 team posted an average finish of 3.0. He had an incredible run at Homestead by leading 53 laps and finishing second, then stamped his name into the Championship 4 in a dominant second-half performance at Martinsville, tallying his third victory of the season.

“You never want to count yourself out,” Blaney said. “I mean, I think in the summer we were struggling a little bit. But we never gave up. We just went to work. I’ve said that all week, like, this group goes to work and they figure out problems. That’s why they’re such an amazing group to be with, with the Team Penske folks, ’cause they just put their head down and do the work, accept the challenge.”


Position Driver POINTS WINS POLES TOP 5 TOP 10
1 Ryan Blaney 5035 3 0 8 18
2 Kyle Larson 5034 4 2 15 18
3  William Byron  5033 6 4 15 21
4  Christopher Bell  5001 2 6 10 19
5 Denny Hamlin 2383 3 4 14 19
6  Tyler Reddick 2344 2 2 10 16
7 Chris Buescher 2310 3 0 9 7
8 Brad Keselowski 2302 0 0 7 16
9 Ross Chastain 2299 2 1 10 14
10 Bubba Wallace 2279 0 1 5 10


Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford, celebrates after winning the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway.



LAS VEGAS — Spokane’s Haeden Plybon, driving a borrowed car, finished sixth at the “Star Nursery Classic” on the 3/8-mile paved Bullring oval at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 29.

“He was running good when a caution came out with eight laps to go,” Haeden’s dad, Tom, wrote in a Facebook Messenger message. The shuffled the field sent Plybon back in the field.

Kyle Keller, the 18-year-old driver in the No. 12 Star Nursery/KKR stock car won the 100-lap Pro Late Model main event.

Danica Dart of Ephrata finished seventh.


Haeden Plybon’s rented car at the Las Vegas Bullring.




In This Week's Article

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The tradition of the NW Motorsports Report honoring various race champions continues in our new home in the Exchange. 

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Paul Delaney
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Email at: pds-spokane@gmail.com


Paul Delaney has been writing about Motorsports in the Pacific Northwest since 1976. He welcomes learning about your racing accomplishments.

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 Ross Chastain