Coming up on Sunday at PNC Arena, it is NASCAR Day, and earlier we caught up with Ryan Blaney, who is a NASCAR driver, seven-time winner, and a one-time winder of sirens.
Coming up on Sunday at PNC Arena, the Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the Vancouver Canucks, but that's not probably why you're coming. It is NASCAR Day. It's a five o'clock start, and at ten o'clock in the morning, all sorts of NASCAR events will be there for you, and Ryan Blaney will be there. He's done this before.
Before we get to the NASCAR, I have a bunch of questions that are going to seem like, boy, Gold doesn't know a gear shift from a hockey puck. You've done the siren before. Do you have a strategy going in to the siren? Yeah.
Well, thanks for having me. Yeah, the siren I did last year, about this time last year, it was amazing. What a better way to get the crowd fired up than being able to do the siren. I didn't know what to expect last year with the siren, so I think having some experience on it might change up my technique a little bit. It might take it a little slower.
You guys just have to be there to find out. Don't take it slower. You've just got to go as hard as you can.
You've got to build it up slow, and then you've got to rip on it. It was super fun, and I can't wait to do it again. By the way, did you become, at some point, because basically everybody's based in the state of North Carolina, did you become a hockey fan, a Hurricanes fan over the years? Your blood is racing, obviously, but does the sport resonate with you?
Yeah. I didn't grow up necessarily watching a ton of hockey. My family just didn't really watch it, so I was never really around it, but the last few years, being with Advance Auto Parts and getting to be able to go to some Hurricanes games, gosh, it's turned me into a fan. I love sports in general. You appreciate athletes and anything that they do, and you appreciate how hard any sport is, especially at a professional level. So I love going and watching.
I don't make it to as many as I would like to. I actually grew up in High Point, North Carolina, so not too far away from Raleigh, but it's awesome to see the arena. I love the atmosphere and the crowd energy at all the hockey events and especially the Hurricanes games, so they've turned me into a fan, and hopefully they can make a great playoff run this year. Yeah, hopefully they can. Hopefully they can win a hockey game.
We haven't won a hockey game in a couple of days now. Ryan Blaney, who is the number 12 Ford Mustang for Penske racing. You won the All-Star race a year ago, and I know you've got seven wins in your career. Do you prefer a certain style of racing? Do you prefer road? Do you prefer super speedway, short track?
What do you prefer? Yeah, you know, I feel like everybody kind of has their style of tracks that they enjoy more than others. I love the short tracks like Martinsville, Briscoe, those places I really enjoyed going to as a kid, and now to be able to race on them is really a dream come true. But really enjoy every one of them. You understand that each one is their own unique challenge.
Not one of them is the same as the other ones, so you have to adapt what you're doing on a weekly basis. But the short tracks, I just love, and I look forward to going to those every single year. Ryan Blaney is joining us, drives the number 12 Ford Mustang for Penske racing. Do you cringe about a certain, like, oh man, I can't believe we got to go there again? We were just there, it feels like. Is there a track you dread?
Not really. You know, gosh, I feel like if you, you know, some tracks you might like less than others. All right, maybe that's the best way to ask it. Yeah, like, you know, I feel like if you're going into the weekend of a track that you might not run the best at, you're like, man, I just, I don't want to be here. You know, you're kind of already beating yourself, you know, you have to be, you know, upbeat and motivated for each one. And, you know, that's how you get better, right? I mean, if you struggle at a place, you have to challenge yourself to try to get better at them. So I, I try not to have that approach, you know, of kind of beating yourself before you ever get there. But, you know, you're going to run better at some places than others.
But I like that challenge of trying to get better at the tracks that you struggle at a little bit, maybe. Ryan Blaney is here. We're only about five weeks away from Daytona. I know there's events, I think you guys are racing in the Coliseum a couple of weeks before Daytona. What is like in hockey, we have training camp, they get together, it's a couple of weeks before the start, maybe three weeks before the start of the regular season, then like football's got their fall camp, even though it's in the summer, they call it fall, it's silly. Baseball's got spring training.
What is that period like for you? How do you get ready for the start of the season? Yeah, so it's kind of unique. You know, unlike other sports, you know, we don't test a lot in the off season, you know, we don't get behind the wheel of our race cars and be able to go off and test and kind of hone your skills.
That's just not part of the rules. They kind of ban testing stuff. We do a lot of simulation work. All the manufacturers have really great motion simulators that will get on and kind of get back into the flow of things. So that's what we really utilize a lot in the off season. Obviously your training, you know, doing your stuff to get ready for the year and every driver does them differently. But the simulator stuff, you know, at Ford, they have a great program here in Charlotte and we wear that thing out.
They have three of them now. And it's definitely a very, very high priority for all the drivers, especially in the off season, just trying to get back in the flow of things. Is this a fancy way of saying you play video games? It's a very fancy video game.
Hey, look, you're talking to an absolute novice when it comes to this. Ryan Blaney is joining us. So there's no preseason. But, you know, if you're like trying to like negotiate holiday shopping traffic, that's sort of like short track speed skating or short track racing. Right? Yeah, a little bit. Oh, yeah. You gosh, that's a great way to put it. Yeah. The holiday rush, the Christmas present rush shopping. Yeah. That gets me ready for the Coliseum. You know, tiny little racetrack, a lot of cars around you.
You're probably going to get upset at somebody. It's a great way to put it. So I might actually start training like that here in years to come from your advice.
That might be my people put me over the top. So you've raced just about everything. You've raced trucks, small cars. What about we should get Zamboni racing. So I tried to let them, you know, allow me to drive the Zamboni. I think you need a special license for that. So so I haven't done that training yet.
But yeah, that might be the next step. You know, I've been pretty fortunate to drive a lot of really cool race cars growing up. Very, very, you know, unique places around the country and around the world to race. But Zamboni, that's got to be next on the list.
So maybe one year when I come out to a hurricane game, they'll let me get behind the wheel of the Zamboni and see what we can do. It's a classic. It's a Class Z license. I made that up.
I have no idea what it is. Ryan Blaney, Penske racing the number twelve Ford Mustang. And again, you won the All-Star race a year ago.
Is that as good as it gets? I know you've had some success at Daytona and you've got a handful of top five finishes, but it's something like the All-Star race. I know how different it is and its stages now. It's even different than when I used to go to that race. What do you what would you consider your, you know, your highlight? Yeah, you know, I feel like, you know, the pinnacle in our sport right is the Daytona 500. And I think we've run second there three times in the last like six years. So to be able to finally try to break through and win that won't be so close.
That would be really big. But one of the All-Star race last year, that was really unique. You know, that's a cool formatted race, no points on the line.
It's just going for a million bucks, you know, and everyone's, you know, that's all that's on their mind is the cash. So that was super cool to be able to do that. Kind of have that under your belt and be able to be invited back to all the All-Star races, you know, until you're done with the sport.
So that was neat. But looking forward to the Daytona 500 here in February, that's massive for us. And we've been so close to that'd be really great to finally try to win that thing and have that have that to hang on on your hat. It's like it's like winning the Masters if you get to go back forever.
Exactly, exactly. You have a lifetime invite, which is always good. But you don't get a green jacket. You get do you get it? You should get a green fire suit for that.
That would be funny. Yeah, you get a lot of green cash. That's good. You got a million bucks for it.
So yeah, you could could cover yourself in maybe a jacket, maybe a jacket. That'd be good. A green hat, green cowboy hat for winning in Texas. That'd be pretty good. Well, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday at PNC Arena.
Canes and the Vancouver Canucks, they play at five. You guys would be out there all afternoon. Should be a blast.
Ryan Blaney drives the number 12 Ford Mustang for Penske racing. Good luck at the Coliseum. Hope to see you at PNC Arena, by the way, on Sunday. But good luck at the Coliseum. And if we don't speak at the Daytona 500 as well. Yeah, thank you. I appreciate you having me. I can't wait to be there this Sunday and should be a great game.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-11 18:30:05 / 2023-01-11 18:34:44 / 5